President Trump, being the business man that he is, wishes to lessen or remove federal regulations in as many areas as possible to benefit the economy. With as much debt as the United States has, we need look for ways where we can recuperate money. I understand that. But, targeting the Endangered Species Act is not the right way to go.
I’ve already said my opinion in my last blog post. What I’d like to do here is explain what the Endangered Species Act exactly is and dive into how some currently view the situation. Too many people start arguments, debates. or protests before doing their research on what it is they are defending or fighting against. I’d like to help inform you on what it is, so you are fully aware of what is at stake.
It’s too dangerous to go alone, take these facts!
I just had to make that reference (If you enjoy video games, check out my other blog). Anyways, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is very important as it handles many different tasks. It replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 in 1973 and Congress has amended it several times, according to NOAA Fisheries. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA for short) Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are the lead federal agencies for the ESA, as said by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There is also the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), which plays a small role in the ESA as it “regulates the use of all pesticides in the United States and establishes maximum levels for pesticide residues in food, thereby safeguarding the nation’s food supply” (EPA). Together, they do the following as listed by NOAA Fisheries:
- Listing of Species (Section 4)
- Critical Habitat Designation (Section 4)
- Recovery (Section 4)
- Cooperation with States (Section 6)
- Interagency Consultation (Section 7)
- International Cooperation (Section 8)
- Enforcement of the ESA (Section 9)
- Permits for Endangered Species & Habitat Conservation Plans (Section 10)
*Click on each of the links to read some of the specifics of each bullet point.
There is a lot going on with the Endangered Species Act, as I mentioned previously, in order to save lives. It is not simple by any means, as the recovery alone requires multiple components. Quoting the U.S. Federal Fish and Wildlife Service:
“Working with partners, the Service uses a range of conservation tools to ‘recover’ endangered and threatened species—to ensure that they are secure members of their ecosystems. These tools include restoring and acquiring habitat, removing introduced animal predators or invasive plant species, conducting surveys, monitoring individual populations, and breeding species in captivity and releasing them into their historic range” (FWS).
It is hard to measure the success or failure of the ESA since many measure it differently, due to how complicated and controversial it is. It is not enough to just count how many threatened and endangered species have been delisted over the span of over 40 years, which is what some of the Republicans in Congress are currently doing. The FWS defends it in a long article. Other sources not directly associated with the ESA mostly agree that it does in fact work, such as National Geographic back in 2005. It could be improved to be more effective, as critics point out, but the foundation is solid.
I think we have a better understanding now of what the Endangered Species Act is and how crucial it is for conservation efforts. Now let’s jump into some politics. Most of the people I know currently hate (blunt, but true) our new President, especially at Cornerstone University. They think that he is going to mess everything up, given his temperament. I won’t say what my political views are here, as I believe conversations like that are best done in person. Anyways, I did a group interview with my grandma Sandy Wilacker and my aunt Paula Maloney, since they are heavily invested in this.
They both voted against Trump for multiple reasons, saying that he won’t do anything for the animals or the environment, only harm it. “I’m very much concerned for the EPA, water, and so on… he doesn’t care about what happens to all of that,” says Paula, “If I had realized how much people hated Hilary, I would’ve voted for Bernie Sanders in the preliminaries.” “Yeah, anyone is better than Trump,” Sandy replies.
While the group interview mostly stayed on topic, they talked about other things as well. Needless to say, both agree that Trump is the worst president ever. “He only cares about business, not us or them,” Sandy adds, “He’s just going to open the way for billionaires to make more money, so they can do whatever they want.”
Despite being highly opinionated and biased, they both had valid points to make. I hope the government will focus on more than one priority within the four years of Trump’s presidency, as there are other important things besides business. Nature seems to lose more rounds than not, as not many stand in its corner of the ring. One of the many reasons why the Endangered Species Act was put in place is to defend wildlife against those who wish to abuse it for their own gain. I pray that history won’t be repeated again.
Please send this message to Congress, spread the word. The Endangered Species Act should not be weakened, but strengthened. Animals and plants do matter. We need to continue looking after threatened and endangered species if they are to survive.
This is all for now, thank you for reading and be sure to like, share, and follow this blog as there is more to come. Have a great day!
* The picture of President Trump was found from here.