Opinion

Protect Endangered Species Act

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To the Editor;
For 45 years the federal Endangered Species Act has been the vehicle that has prevented scores of species of rare plants and animals from becoming extinct. At the same time, it has provided an opportunity for additional species struggling to maintain their numbers to not slip into the endangered category.

The fact that few if any of these species have become extinct during that time attests to the effectiveness of the provisions in the act. A number of species, such as America‚Äôs symbol — the bald eagle — have been able to advance from facing extinction to actually thriving under the protection.

Critics of the act are now proposing sweeping changes, which could move the great progress achieved thus far backward. Greed and the climate of regulation paranoia are the driving forces of this effort. These critics point out that only 3 percent of the species afforded protection have ever recovered enough to be removed from the list. Ironically this actually supports the great need to continue the protection, and a much more relevant gauge of its success is the fact the protected species have not disappeared.

Contact your senators, members of Congress, and the Trump administration urging them to preserve this important act, and not give in to the elements in our society who put unbridled economic growth above all other concerns.

Jerry Stelmok
Atkinson

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