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Endangered Species Act now endangered too

by George Boria - Copy Editor
Tue, Feb 28th 2017 09:05 pm
Photo taken from wrvo.org on Flickr

GOP lawmakers are attacking the Endangered Species Act which is designed to identify and protect animals threatened by extinction. A small portion of the species identified have been delisted since 1973 when the law was first put into effect.
Photo taken from wrvo.org on Flickr GOP lawmakers are attacking the Endangered Species Act which is designed to identify and protect animals threatened by extinction. A small portion of the species identified have been delisted since 1973 when the law was first put into effect.

 Currently on thepetitionsite.com there is a petition up for signatures to prevent President Donald Trump from endangering the Endangered Species Act. 

Currently the petition's goal is over 95 percent achieved, but in how much danger is the Endangered Species Act really in? The GOP has been after the Endangered Species Act since its installment in 1973 and with Trump in the Oval Office the GOP has a standing chance at getting their grubby, little hands on the law.

For those readers who are unaware of what the Endangered Species Act does, it allows the federal government to protect species that they feel are at risk of extinction by preserving habitats and regulating/outlawing the hunting of certain species. 

On the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's website, over 2,000 species of plants and animals are listed as protected by the Endangered Species Act and only a handful of species have made it off the list since it was created 44 years ago. Species that have not managed to make it off the list include: seals; 87fruit bats; pitcher plants and even bees. Some species like gray wolves have previously made it off the list and are back on due to relaxed hunting enforcement.  

According to the GOP, the lack of progress made toward removing species from the endangered species list is only evidence that the law doesn't work and is a waste of governmental funding. However, what the GOP fails to take into consideration is that 44 years is not enough time to save even 1,000 species from extinction and if the work we do now isn't enough, then we need to work harder, not softer. It takes decades upon decades to repopulate a species that we spend hundreds of years hunting to the brink of extinction. 

The attacks on the Endangered Species Act does not end at GOP members. During a senate hearing Wednesday, Feb. 15, James Holte from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau that the population growth of gray wolves under the protection of the Endangered Species Act has been detrimental to the local farmers in Wisconsin and caused over $200,000 in damage during 2016. 

"As wolf populations continue to increase, interactions between farmers, their livestock, rural residents, and wolves continue to escalate without a remedy in sight," Holte said during the senate hearing.

While there are people in opposition to the Endangered Species Act there are also groups of people who support the law and believe that it doesn't do enough to protect wildlife such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

National Geographic has stated that the NRDC has even sued Trump for suspending regulations that protect the rusty patched bumblebee, an insect vital for farming and food production. 

There are people on both sides of the debate regarding the Endangered Species Act. 

It may seem black and white that the environment needs to be protected. We only have one planet to live on and if we destroy it, where would we go? Is there some credibility to revoking the Environmental Species Act or is it just monetarily driven ignorance from the GOP and state farmers? 

You decide for yourself. 


gbori1@brockport.com

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