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PUBLISHED Letters to the Editor By Northeast CENTER SUPPORTERS


"Endangered Species Act is vital to life"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 14, 2013

This is the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which was passed with bipartisan support, believe it or not! Friday, May 17, is Endangered Species Day.

We are in the midst of the greatest mass extinction in 65 million years, since the death of the dinosaurs. More than 200 species go extinct every day, and extinction is forever.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, "The act is the best and possibly the last chance Americans have of securing a future for diverse native wildlife and the natural environments that wildlife depends on. To date, the act has helped the American bald eagle, black-footed ferret, gray whale, peregrine falcon and spotted owl." These are among the hundreds for which the act has helped improve their status.

We are part of the web of life and whatever happens to the web of life happens to man. The act benefits all of creation by maintaining healthy natural systems that provide us with clean air and water, food, medicines and other products that everyone needs to live a healthy life.

We benefit from the pollination of the honey bees of hundreds of our crops, and they are experiencing colony collapse. Bats are dying because of white nose syndrome, and they digest thousands of insects every night, important to farmers for healthy crop production.
Each of us can take action to contribute to a healthy ecosystem and be conscious of our connection to the natural world. We can stop supporting corporations that exploit Mother Earth, destroying our environment and plants and animals. Thomas Berry (ecotheologian) says, "We are not a collection of objects, we are a communion of subjects."

Mary Ruth Aull
Penn Hills

Copyright ©1997 — 2013 PG Publishing Co., Inc.

This article originally appeared here.

 

"Focus On Endangered Species, Not Extinct Ones"
Hartford Courant, May 2, 2013

I greatly enjoyed Robert Thorson's column about the passenger pigeon, and the practical and moral implications that go along with recreating the species [April 18, Opinion, "Effort To Revive Extinct Pigeon Misspent"].

It seems to me that if the de-extinction of this species were to actually be successful, it would lead the government to loosen focus on providing protection for endangered species.

Thorson brings up many valid points in his article, and one of the most important is the potential damage that reintroducing these species may cause. One of the problems that is already happening is "genetic pollution." In a laboratory setting, it is extremely hard to tell how genetically modified plants, once released, will affect the ecosystem. With the reintroduction of these long-extinct birds they could very well become an invasive species, and lead to the extinction of other species.

It seems to me that instead of spending the money to right the wrongs of the past, we should be investing money into preventing future wrongs from occurring. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, and instead of spending money to bring a species back from the dead, it would do much more good to prevent the extinction of any more organisms.

Conor Ryan
Torrington, Connecticut

Copyright © 2013 Tribune Company.

This article originally appeared here.

 

"U.S. Navy must join efforts to shield rare whale species"
Portland Press Herald, March 19, 2013

Considered the rarest large whale species on Earth and among the rarest of all marine mammal species, North Atlantic right whales have, for centuries, found themselves in the wrong place at so many times in our nation’s short history.

They’re slow, and contain a high percentage of blubber, both of which made them the “right” whale to hunt during the height of 18th-century whaling, because they’re easy prey and float even after being killed.

Now, as pointed out in Russell Wray’s recent op-ed (“Maine Voices: Navy’s training-testing plans pose unacceptable risk to delicate species,” March 7) with fewer than 400 remaining, right whales are again under assault, this time from the U.S. Navy’s underwater testing programs that are known to damage the whale’s most precious sense – its ability to hear.

The fact that right whales – and other species likely to be affected by the Navy’s planned use of explosives and mid-frequency sonar – have Endangered Species Act protections should be enough to encourage the Navy to take every step possible to relocate and limit their activities, which even the Navy acknowledges will result in countless instances of marine mammals experiencing temporary and permanent damage and even death.

Here, on the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of species entrusted to its protection, we should be doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable plants and animals – and that “we” includes the U.S. Navy.

Peter Esterquest
Falmouth, Maine

Copyright © 2013 MaineToday Media, Inc.

This article originally appeared here.