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Endangered Species

By Ranger Steve Mueller

The Endangered Species Act is one of our greatest conservation success stories. 

League of Conservation Voters, The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), National Audubon, and other organizations have been providing information about the Trump administration’s effort to dramatically weaken the Endangered Species Act. 

He is working to undermine biodiversity protections for a healthy future that support us, the environment and our livelihoods. This is a devastating blow for wildlife and the natural heritage we inherited. Rebecca Riley, Legal Director of NRDC’s Nature Program, says Trump’s move is unprecedented and no administration has ever attacked wildlife this aggressively. She attests that the Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most important law for protecting biodiversity. For over 46 years, it has been responsible for saving 99 percent of the species it protects from extinction.

Joseph Wood Krutch wrote in 1957, “The world grows more crowded year by year and at an ever-increasing rate. Men push farther and farther in their search for ‘resources’ to be exploited, even for more space to occupy. Increasingly they think of the terrestrial globe as their earth. They never doubt their right to deal with it as they think fit-and what they think fit usually involves the destruction of what nature has thought fit during many millions of years.” 

He continued, “What men and what needs? How natural should a natural area be kept? How much should it be ‘developed’ when every development or improvement makes it just that much less natural and unspoiled.”

His writing preceded the Endangered Species Act of 1973. 

Riley from the NRDC stated she has never witnessed such an aggressive effort to weaken this vital law. She comments the Trump rollbacks will devastate vulnerable and iconic creatures that don’t have a voice to fight back. The NRDC and other organizations plan to go to court to block the attack on endangered species. The time to act is now: with 1 million species facing extinction, the Endangered Species Act is more important than ever. Contact Congressional Representatives and Senators with your opinions.

NRDC and other conservation organizations work to stay politically neutral. Environmental protection for human welfare and for a sustainable environment was bipartisan but has become politicized. Parties worked together to create the Endangered Species, Wilderness, Clean Air and Water Acts in the 1960’s. The Trump administration is working to undermine the protections of the Acts and he has the support of many.  

Science is being dismissed by this administration and his supporters. Laws to protect streams, soil, air and wilderness are bypassed by Administrative order. People with anti-environment protection agendas have been appointed to head environmental protection. It is important citizens contact Congressional representatives to voice their views. 

It grieves my soul that a sustainable future for us and future generations is being sacrificed for resource exploitation. We talk about the “balance of nature” but we do not understand the intricacies involved that sustain us. The ecology of nature niches is tremendously complex. Much of the natural heritage we inherited should survive and continue vital functions without destructive activities. 

Whether one approaches sustainability from religious, scientific, or philosophical views, we can share a common goal for a healthy future that sustains the economy, society and environment for generations of all species. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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