Who’s endangered now?

December 31st, 2013 by Ken

In case you missed it, we passed a very important milestone a week or so ago.   The Endangered Species Act turned 40 years old.

No matter what you think about the act, it continues to be an important element in our way of life.

Recent news that the Chinook Salmon run on the Columbia was stronger than expected; and that all salmon runs on all Northwest rivers is good news.  Whether or not the Endangered Species Act was the reason is beside the point.

What’s important is the realization that we exist along side many living creatures which have a right to exist as surely as we do.

The California Condor, the Whopping Crane, the American Gray Wolf and the symbol of this country the American Bald Eagle are all examples of how the Endangered Species Act was used to pull these animals back from the brink of extinction.

But, like all government rules and regulations, they’re only as effective as the bureaucrats who interpret and enforce the rules.

For all the successes, many examples exist of over-reaching by those who interpret the act.   The Snail Darter, an innocuous little minnow was used as an excuse to stop a needed dam which would bring water to drought areas in the Southwest.

Here, in our own backyard, the Spotted Owl was used as an excuse to stop logging on federal land, bringing untold hardships to loggers and their families –  which still exist today.

And, right now, the federal bureaucrats are determining if the Mazama Pocket Gopher should be listed on the Endangered Species List.   It’s just an excuse – of course – – to stop development of private lands here in Thurston County.

The Endangered Species Act has been successful.  It has accomplished its goals of raising public awareness to the plight of our animal friends and by keeping several animals from going extinct.

It has also been misused and abused in an effort to accomplish the political goal of stopping growth.

At 40 years, it’s time for Congress to take a new look at the bill and make necessary changes that protect the human animals as well as our animal friends.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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