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"Protect environment with vigilance"
Albuquerque Journal, April 30, 2013

During a 10-year period in the days of bipartisan cooperation, Congress passed a series of environmental protection acts: the Wilderness Act (1964), the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968), the National Environmental Policy Act (1969), the Clean Air Act (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972), and the Endangered Species Act (1973).

Each of these acts has been attacked by short-sighted opponents in modern times, especially the Endangered Species Act, which has been called the most important legislation designed to protect the natural world and its inhabitants — including us — ever to have emerged from the U. S. Congress.

In the present Congress numerous “riders” — bills attached to major legislation to avoid public scrutiny — have been introduced to water down or avoid the intent of major environmental protection laws. We must be eternally vigilant to avoid such desecration.

Keep in mind the history, especially as it relates to New Mexico. The first wilderness established in America occurred on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico due to the efforts of far-sighted Aldo Leopold 40 years before the Wilderness Act passed Congress.

New Mexico Sen. Clifford P. Anderson supported the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that included the Ute Mountain Run of the Rio Grande, the river segment recently given greater protection by the establishment of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

Like him or loathe him, conservative Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law 40 years ago.

It has been instrumental in helping to bring back from the edge of extinction the bald eagle, whooping crane, Kirtland’s warbler, peregrine falcon, gray wolf, gray whale, grizzly bear, sea otter and black-footed ferret among other species.

As citizens we must let our elected representatives know where we stand on environmental protection, including endangered species.

Verne Huser

Privacy Policy & Copyright ©Albuquerque Journal: Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This article originally appeared here.


"Ban Lead Ammo For Condors"
Payson Roundup, April 26, 2013


There is no better time than Earth Day to than draw attention to one of our many environmental disasters that are happening right now on our planet. This involves our own state, and one of our most beloved areas.

It’s astounding to me that 28 of the Grand Canyon region’s 80 condors have been treated for blood poisoning over the same time period, and that overall, 38 of the 166 condors reintroduced in Utah and Arizona since 1996 have been killed by lead poisoning. Even the Arizona Game and Fish Department indicates that lead toxicity has been identified as the leading cause of death in condors in the Arizona reintroduction program. Here’s the source for this fact: http://www. azgfd.gov/w_c/california_condor_lead.shtml

These avoidable deaths are just the latest chapter in a growing body of evidence demonstrating that lead bullets keep on poisoning and killing birds and other wildlife long after the ammunition takes down their initial prey.

It makes no sense that we’re allowing lead poisoning to continue its assault on wildlife long after the ammunition leaves the gun barrel.

With the help of the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the more than 1,400 species it protects, we’ve gone to great efforts to save California condors from extinction.

Today, they are among the hundreds of plants and animals protected by the Act that are on the road to recovery, including our Apache trout, black-footed ferrets and Northern Aplomado falcons that we see right here in Arizona.

Here in the 40th year of the Endangered Species Act, let’s not throw away all our successful work, to date, to save California condors.

Dick and Sandi Crane
Payson, Arizona

Copyright © 2013 The Payson Roundup.

This article originally appeared here.