Lindsay Wildlife speaks out against proposed changes to the Environmental Species Act
Lindsay Wildlife Experience is dedicated to advocating for social change and public policy that protects wildlife and the environment.
Please read this letter by Lindsay Wildlife Executive Director Dr. Carlos de la Rosa addressing proposed changes to the Environmental Species Act.
Aug. 14, 2019
Dear members, volunteers, and supporters of the Lindsay Wildlife Experience:
In the last few days, a flurry of news in the mainstream media has expounded and analyzed the implications of changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that the current US administration is proposing. One can’t fail to notice that the majority of these news articles illustrate the news with a photograph of a bald eagle. The bald eagle is not only a national symbol but an extraordinary and iconic example of the effectiveness of the ESA in the recovery and protection of endangered and threatened species. Bald eagles were on their way to extinction in the middle part of the last century due to a series of impacts on their populations from industry pollutants, habitat destruction, and toxic chemicals in their environment, among other factors. Their recovery has been nothing but remarkable and it all falls under the supporting actions provided by this landmark legislation. Actually, it was the bald eagle that provided the inspiration for the drafting of the ESA.
In the US and its territories, the ESA protects over 1,600 species, providing means to preserve and restore habitat, keeping at bay development actions that can impact the species’ populations, and educating the public about the importance of preserving our rich biodiversity. Species such as the bald eagle, the California condor, the grizzly bear, and many others have been saved by the signing of the ESA in 1973. But there are many other less-known but equally important species that benefit from these protections. And the ESA has worked amazingly well. Over 99% of the species listed in the ESA have avoided extinction thanks to the legislation. Extinction is forever. Once a species becomes extinct, it can’t be brought back. So, it behooves us to do our best to maintain these unique elements of our biodiversity alive and thriving.
At a time when a changing climate is creating harsher conditions for wildlife and ecosystems in general, the ESA as a conservation tool is more important than ever. Polar bears, for example, were the first species to be listed under the ESA due to climate change. Thousands of species are in danger of losing even more of their populations and habitats due to the current climate emergency.
Lindsay Wildlife Experience is a science-based conservation organization. Our daily work in rescue, treatment, rehabilitation, and release of injured wildlife often puts us in contact with endangered and threatened species, such as the bald eagle, the golden eagle, the California tiger salamander, and the peregrine falcon among others. They have all benefited at one time or another from the protections of the ESA. As an organization, we are committed to supporting a strong ESA and vehemently disagree with its proposed weakening.
We encourage your support for the ESA and urge you to back one or more of the various initiatives that are trying to prevent these dangerous rollbacks to the law. There are many ways you can show your support for the ESA. Please use the list below, and call your local elected representatives, to advocate for the ESA.
We hope you join us and take action to preserve one of the most important tools that our nation has to protect our precious and valuable biodiversity. The Lindsay Wildlife Board of Directors will also be sending a letter directly to the White House, Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Yours in the protection of our wildlife,
Dr. Carlos de la Rosa
Lindsay Wildlife Experience