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Video: Ian Somerhalder Speaks Before Congress for Wildlife Preservation

July 29, 2011 (5:38 am) GMT
Afterward, the 'Vampire Diaries' hunk takes to Twitter to thank the series' producer and assistant director for making it possible for him to testify before Congress.
Ian Somerhalder

has set aside some time from his busy schedule to address issues close to his heart in person. The day after a late night shooting of "" on Wednesday, July 26, the Damon Salvatore depicter appeared before Congress in Washington, D.C. to testify for wildlife preservation.

"Wildlife and environmental conservation has always been not just a passion, but a priority of mine," said the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. "When I began to find that through my work as an actor, I was gaining an increasingly prominent platform in front of the American public, I knew right away what I wanted to do with it."

Urging Congress to consider the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act, Ian said, "I thought it would be useful to share my thoughts on the species that benefit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service leadership on conservation." He then presented the statistics about endangered species, such as tigers, rhinos, African and Asian elephants, marine turtles and apes.

"Due to instability or indifference in the areas that many of these species call home, for most of them we are the first, last, and only hope for survival," stressed the 32-year-old actor. "As the ones with the power to make a difference, the responsibility rests with us. It is imperative that we live up to it."

The rumored boyfriend of concluded his testimony by saying, "On behalf of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and the Alliance for Global Conservation, I urge the Subcommittee to mark-up H.R. 50 and move to reauthorize this important piece of legislation."

Afterward, Ian took to Twitter to share his thought, "DC was Great today-getting on plane-Thank you Members of congress and Senate. Thank you to a great team of people whom got me here!" Hours later, he came up with another thank you note, "Thank you to Pascal Verschooris(TVD Producer)&Michael Allowitz(TVD 1st Asst director)for clearing me today to travel to Washington!Seriously."



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