The Endangered Species Act turns 40 this year and I'm thankful it's around. No other law has done more to save America's most vulnerable plants and animals from extinction. It has prevented the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection. What law has a better record than that?

Since Richard Nixon (a Republican, oh, my!) signed the Act into law, we, in the Northwest, have reaped the benefits. The plants and animals spared extinction have been put on the path to recovery, including the gray whale, the Columbian white-tailed deer, and a tiny little minnow called the Oregon chub. And don't forget the bald eagle! It's easy to forget that in the 1960's, we, humans, nearly wiped them off the face of the earth! Due to federal protection and bans to harmful chemical compounds like DDT, they've rebounded so well you can probably spot them soaring over rivers in some urban areas. Recently, I spotted a bald eagle on East Beaver Creek and what an amazing sight it was!

But even if I never saw any of these species in person, they're part of what keeps the Northwest wild and natural and it heartens me to know they're out there. They are the main reason I moved to the Northwest.

The Endangered Species Act is an American success story and, because of it, we can all be proud.

Unfortunately, there are members of Congress who value profits over protections and they see things differently than most Americans. So it's up to us, as citizens, to be vigilant and make sure the Act will still be successful for at least another 40 years.

Call your members of Congress and let them know you value the Northwest for its wildness and natural beauty and you want the Endangered Species Act to be strengthened and preserved.

Happy 40th Anniversary, Endangered Species Act!

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(8) comments

cheeseman

Fauna,

The Endangered Species Act has done serious damage to the Tillamook County economy. I do not have a problem with constructive protection of endangered wildlife, but the Act has gone overboard.

Strict enforcement of the Act will, admittedly, return Tillamook to its primitive roots, but there are people living in Tillamook who deserve to have their jobs protected. The Act is forcing people who must work for a living to leave Oregon. A "retirement" industry is not going to support the services that are needed to support the remaining population.

The Act is far too nearsighted and should have its enforcement scaled back.

Personally, I am very frustrated at what I see from both the Act and the DEQ. I am seriously considering the sale of my real estate holdings and moving out of Oregon where the laws are more people friendly.

Joe Mudder

I like your thoughtful response. Your frustration is appreciable. Cheeseman, you are probably many years my senior so please bear with me while I draw a parallel.

At this time, gun laws have found such strict opposition that it will be the non gun owners who will force regulations upon the group with guns. In my opinion, coming together would represent each side in finding a balanced resolution.

I don't blame the logging companies or loggers for cutting ALL the old growth forests (you can't save what isn't there, right?). ( Yes, I am saying that was not necessary) I don't know any loggers who don't love what they do and where they do it. They and environmentalists have more than less in common.

Unfortunately, the industry wasn't going to regulate itself properly without help from progressive thinkers. I understand that nothing lasts forever and trees live and die like everything else, but diversity of our environment benefits all of us.

I feel that if the environmental movement had been taken more seriously by the industry instead of an attempt to discredit it altogether, we wouldn't be at such odds.

I again want to acknowledge your strong intellect and concern about our future.

alynn

Don't forget the Marbled Murelet that put so many loggers out of work or short on hours. Bah! No logger that I know has ever even seen one of those d@mnd things in the woods. What a crock!

Don

"Bah!" Grump, grump, grump,... "We don't needs no Marbled Murelet, heck, we'ses don't needs no old growthh Forrestes either. What a crock"

Joe Mudder

BANG!! did you see that? see what? nothin...

RobertL

WE can thank the spotted owl for our county roads!

Joe Mudder

You sound pretty sure of yourself, Bob. I hope you feel better now.

RobertL

I am sure of myself and I never have felt bad!

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