Dear Editor: Wildlife is fascinating. Everyone loves to watch a tiger stalk its prey or a hawk pluck a fish from a lake. They can do things we can’t, see the world in a different way than we can, and inspire us to look at the world from another perspective. More importantly for our long-term success, endangered wildlife are an indicator that an ecosystem is falling apart. An ecosystem finely tuned by countless years of evolution is disintegrating, and we have to understand how these ecosystems affect our well-being. In a lofty fashion, wildlife represent our souls, but in a more real, day-to-day sense, they are a warning that we are failing to maintain the very systems that provide us with life. Despite devastating new reports of catastrophic species loss, the Trump administration finalized regulations that would eviscerate the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s most effective law for saving imperiled wildlife from extinction This administration is the thinnest layer of tissue paper over the gross machines of industrial production run by people who do know what is happening but plan to insulate themselves as much as possible by taking all the toys and hiding behind walls with guns. They can be more shameless than ever in an environment where no one even expects reasonable answers and where the leadership is truly shameless and not even interested in preserving a legacy such as the Endangered Species Act.
Thanks to the ESA, 99% of listed species have survived and many more have been set on a path to recovery. At a time of unprecedented global mass extinction, it is unconscionable that the administration is rolling back protections for our most imperiled species.
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