Updated: Jun 4, 2021
Endangered Species Act (ESA)...
Whether on mainstream media or not, during our lifetime, we have seen the comeback of many species, such as Bald eagles, grizzly bears, California condors, gray wolves, and American alligators. This success is large in part due to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This success might not seem as important to some, but once you understand how an ecosystem operates, you appreciate and recognize how vital and integral each part is. When animals go extinct, on behalf of human cause, the downstream implications are obvious, such as an increase in rodent populations, increase in wildlife disease, and a decrease in vegetative diversity.
The Endangered Species Act secures these successes through tactful and particular measures. It’s imperative that we abide the policies in place, such as land conservation, hunting regulations, and appropriate farming practices to see to it that these endangered animals, have an opportunity for resurgence. What we understand is that no money can buy back a species once they have gone extinct, and what we have witnessed is the consequences of reduced populations, such as the absence or gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park. The reintroduction of the gray wolf has proven the importance of this predator on herds; increasing their migratory paths, allowing for more soil aeration and nutrient-dense soil, keeping herds smaller which limits diseases, and allowing for more trampled matter, limiting fire spread. This reintroduction taught us that the gray wolf was and is, a vital part of the ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park. This is one example of many, and of the possible outcomes, the implications or benefits are not entirely understood, but trusted to be substantial. We must work to protect all species, no matter how big or small.
We have experienced in our lifetime severe forest destruction, and ocean, soil and air pollution like no other generation. With increasing human population, comes the increased need for resources. However, utilizing resources at a rate and in such as way as we have, will not lend itself to the preservation of our ecosystems, including animals and plants. This is the generation of a new paradigm, a new way of consumerism, and a new way of living with our land.
We have come to a point in history where the Endangered Species Act’s standards are being diminished in order to allow land to be allotted to oil and gas harvesting. The process to lay pipelines in exhaustive; an expensive endeavor, irrecoverable drilling for the precious resources of oil and gas, damages ecosystem, and threatens environmental disasters. Though in our lifetime we have come to know and trust that these resources are integral to our survival, it is no longer the case. We have the ability to avoid damaging ecosystems in such an extreme way, and still maintain our current way of life. Please consider the endangered species, the health of your air, water, and soil, when using your voting power.
It seems that our current administration wants to reduce the Endangered Species Act’s abilities depending on the economic gain that may come from the project at hand. We know from experience that money should not be a variable in deciding what animals to protect. Projects like the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, for example, are facing strong opposition, including court challenges and revocation of permits because of the animals they threaten. It’s not right, to think that fossil fuel companies would be the ones to determine which species survives and which go extinct. If interested in these matters, please see attached links."
Taylor Howell has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science and supports any solution that aids clean water, air, and soil.