To the editor:
Enacted in 1973, the Endangered Species Act is one of the most powerful tools agencies and citizens have to stop our current extinction crisis. No single law has done more to save plants and animals and the habitat that sustains them. For nearly four decades the Act has put hundreds of species on the path to recovery.
There are Endangered Species Act success stories in every state, including ours. Without the Act these species would have little hope for survival and the biological integrity of our backyards would be at greater risk.
But some in Washington have attacked the Act, using faulty logic and dubious motivations, calling the entire law a failure. Some have sought ways to gut the Act of crucial components. Were this to happen we would see the effects here at home.
Thankfully, a new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of 110 species debunks these arguments and shows that 90 percent are recovering on track to meet goals set by federal scientists. The report, which relies on data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and independent scientists, is a science-based rebuttal to attacks on the Act by critics like Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, who says the Act is “failing badly” because only 1 percent of species have been recovered. The report finds that 80 percent of species haven't been listed long enough to reach their projected delisting date.
I urge others to contact their congressional representatives and let them know how important it is we keep the power of the Endangered Species Act intact.