Commentary: Celebrating or cursing Endangered Species Day

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Holding an Endangered Species Day is unlikely to stop a large portion of the rural population from cursing the way that the Endangered Species Act has been enacted and overseen through the years.

Emphasizing the special day too early might have caused some people opposed to commemorating the act to mobilize demonstrations against it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a mass reminder/announcement of the day May 17. The Endangered Species Day was May 18.

It was noted that the purpose of the Act is to conserve imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend, which sounds good, but its enforcement also has impacted many states, communities and individual landowners in ways that don’t sound great when details come to light.

“Endangered Species Day provides an opportunity to celebrate our successes and strengthen our partnership with the American public to conserve our shared natural resources,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “By taking action to help our threatened and endangered plants and animals, we can ensure a healthy future for our country and protect treasured landscapes for future generations.”

It was announced that “the Service and the Endangered Species Coalition are cosponsoring events around the country to focus public support on rare and imperiled species, including at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

“Many of the Service’s field and regional offices will be hosting events in their communities and providing unique programs to visitors on endangered species conservation.”

As is typical with any special day, there was a Web site for more information on how to find the events.

In my opinion, it seems that there could have been more logic involved in enforcement of the Endangered Species Act over the years, but there definitely have been some great successes. Most of the successes that are highlighted by the Service are larger animals, not an amphibian or a small patch of endangered vegetation that interfered with a major construction project.


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