As I wrote in a previous post, the Endangered Species Act is coming under assault in the 115th Congress. This last week E&E News reported that bills were introduced in both the House and Senate that would fundamentally undermine the protections currently offered under the Endangered Species Act.
Here are a couple of elements contained in the bills as reported by E&E News:
Senate file S.935 would automatically remove species on the threatened and endangered species list after five years, regardless of status or success. Additionally, S.935 would require the Fish & Wildlife Service, the administrators of the Act, to "obtain the consent of governors before making management decisions that would affect species within their states," thereby undermining the stated purpose of the act to protect threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend, and essentially gutting the Endangered Species Act of its very relevance.
This is not to say that the there are not improvements that can be made to the Endangered Species Act. But, what we don't need are short-sighted "fixes" to the landmark legislation that carry all the hallmarks of political expedience at the cost to the whole of society as we continue to lose more and more species to extinction.
To keep this in the purview of angling, two American species of trout have already been lost to extinction- the yellowfin cutthroat trout and the Alvord cutthroat trout. This is two species too many in an era when nearly all native trout are under siege.
This blog was posted on the original Conservation Angler blogger page on 5/2/2017 and has been slightly updated for posting here.
Until next time,