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PUBLISHED Letters to the Editor By CENTER SUPPORTERS in the Great Lakes region

"Endangered Species Act is vital to bats, other species"
The Plain Dealer, December 24, 2013

Your story ("Endangered bats might create roadblocks for Ohio oil, electricity, coal and road work," Dec. 6), reminds us why Congress passed the Endangered Species Act 40 years ago this month. It is not surprising to see tales of economic hardship raised by companies that make huge profits by extracting natural resources without concern for the long-term health of the environment we all depend on.

That is why in December 1973, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act - because our leaders wisely understood the long-term health of our planet and our economy depended on balancing short-term economic profits with thoughtful protection of the ecosystem.

It's undeniable northern long-eared bats need protecting. Many of their colonies have experienced nearly 100 percent mortality rates due to white-nose syndrome, which has spread to 22 states. History suggests we can save them with the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects.|

Kent Scott
Madison, Wisconsin

© Copyright 2013, madison.com.

This article originally appeared here.


"Endangered Species Act is still crucial"

The Cap Times, December 25, 2013

Dear Editor:
Margaret Krome’s column, “Our hubris in trampling species breathtaking,” did a great job of explaining the extinction crisis we face in the 21st century.

With habitat destruction and climate change playing lead roles in species disappearing at thousands of times historic extinction rates, we humans need to do everything in our power to stop the unchecked fraying of the ecosystems that depend entirely on the delicate relationships between every form of life on Earth.

Shortsighted Republicans in Congress blindly pushing to hand over more power to individual states in species protection decisions fail to see what Congress saw so clearly 40 years ago this month, when by almost unanimous vote it passed the Endangered Species Act.
The text of the act, which has now prevented extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects, explains why it was needed then, and still today: “The Congress finds and declares that various species of fish, wildlife, and plants in the United States have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation."

The act helps us to balance our short-term economic interests with our long-term environmental and economic interest.
Without the act there would be no balance at all.

Ryan Wagner
Madison, Ohio

© 2013 Northeast Ohio Media Group LLC. 

This article originally appeared here.


"Commending coverage of Kirtland warbler"
MLive Grand Rapids, November 6, 2013

It wasn’t long ago that the yellow-chested Kirtland’s warbler, once a familiar sight across northern Michigan, looked destined for extinction.

Your insightful report (Endangered Kirtland’s Warblers: Looking good, but what lies ahead,” Oct. 27) did a great job of demonstrating what it takes to recover an imperiled species.

It’s a testament to the remarkable power of the Endangered Species Act that Kirtland’s warblers – which as you stated had been reduced to a couple hundred breeding pairs – have now rebounded to more than a 2,000 pairs.

Recovery has not been easy, requiring ongoing efforts to restore the jack pine forests it depends on for nesting. But here the 40th year of the Endangered Species Act it’s great to remember that with the help of the Act, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects, we can still save and recover species whenever we put our mind to it.

It was very profound reading your statement “The endangered species list is where species went to die”, because I would like to believe that most of us have a good deal of compassion for the environment and ALL creatures found in it.

Ty Coon
Grand Rapids, Michigan

© MLive Media Group.

This article originally appeared here.


"Letter to the Editor"
The Akron Beacon Journal, December 9, 2013

I was heartened to read the recent report on efforts by the state and its partners to save our Ohio’s unique and endangered eastern hellbender (“Hellbenders return to Ohio,” Dec. 2).

These giant aquatic salamanders are in big trouble and require Herculean intervention to save them from looming extinction.
The hellbender is one of the largest salamanders in the world and is so ugly that it crosses over to adorable. It requires clear, clean streams, making it an excellent indicator of stream health. In other words, protecting the hellbender means protecting streams that benefit us all in Ohio.

The hellbender is currently under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. I support such protection for these amazing animals.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of this landmark wildlife law, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species under its protection and put hundreds of species on the road to recovery. My wife and I are expecting our first child, and I want him to grow up in a state with wild animals like the hellbender.

Casey Weinstein
Hudson, Ohio

© 2013 The Akron Beacon Journal.

This article originally appeared here.