Musings on Wildlife Protection

I wrote this on another site on January 18, 2017 shortly before the inauguration of Donald J Trump as President of the United States. I was concerned but I never realized how prescient I was being.

I am very afraid of what is happening in the United States. I am fearful for all of those who will personally be endangered by Trump’s election but I also fear for the wildlife. Back in the eighties, I was responsible for purchasing close to $10 million dollars worth of Ponderosa Pine annually from the forests of Northern California and Oregon. The old growth pine forests were the home to the Northern Spotted Owl. There was enough concern at that time for this Owl that large forests were made unavailable to the loggers. We found other ways to make windows. The Endangered Species Act in 1990 provided some further respite for the Spotted Owl as well as many others of our forest, field and stream friends.

Unfortunately, even with this help, the Spotted Owl is still in trouble. “Persistent logging in Western Oregon is steadily destroying the spotted owl’s habitat, causing the species’ numbers to decline. Although old-growth logging has slowed, due in part to President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan , the population continues to dwindle.

Another cause for concern is the increased competition for habitat and prey the spotted owl faces from the barred owl. The more aggressive barred owl is not native to the Pacific Northwest — its original range was from Florida north to Maine, but by the 1990s Barred Owls started to take over Spotted Owl nest sites in Washington and Oregon.”

I digress. I came to write about Trump and his merry band of qualification deficit idiots. Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt who describes himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda”. As Oklahoma’s attorney general he repeatedly sued the agency and other government entities over environmental rules and regulations, at times in co-operation with fossil fuel companies. The GOP will gut the Endangered Species Act and in doing so will allow drilling, mining, logging and other activities to take place that will turn back the hands of wildlife protection by 50 years.

During Obama’s presidency, the GOP lawmakers have sponsored dozens of measures aimed at curtailing the landmark law or putting species such as Gray Wolves and Sage Grouse out of its reach. Most have been blocked by the current administration or lawsuits from environmentalists. That safety net will be gone on Friday, January 20, 2017.

I hope that everyone can stay involved and committed to doing everything possible to help protect our wildlife at every opportunity. They will need our help now more than ever before.

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