Extinction is Forever. The extinction of a species obliterates a form of life that represents millions of years of evolution. And Earth is no Jurassic Park—there is no technology capable of bringing back a species eliminated because of the selfishness and short-sightedness of human beings.
The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 is one of our most powerful environmental laws because it identifies and seeks to reverse the trajectory of extinction. When Richard Nixon was president, he felt that species conservation efforts were so inadequate that he asked the 93rd U. S. Congress to pass comprehensive endangered species legislation. The ESA passed with widespread bipartisan support (the U.S. Senate voted 92 – 0 and The House of Representatives voted 355 – 4). Congress clearly felt that preserving our esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific natural heritage was of utmost importance.
The ESA has been effective in its mission to save endangered species from extinction. Of the approximately 1,600 species on the endangered species list, only 11 species have become extinct, while 51 species have recovered enough to be removed from the list. The bald eagle, our nation’s symbol since 1782, is one of the ESA’s most poignant success stories. A population of about 100,000 eagles in the lower 48 states in 1782 had dwindled to 400 breeding pairs in 1960. Habitat destruction, poisoning, and shooting had killed many eagles, but the final blow was delivered by the pesticide DDT, which thinned the eagle’s eggshells to the point that they broke prematurely during incubation. Due to the banning of DDT and the ESA’s protection of bald eagle habitat, we celebrated the removal of the bald eagle from the endangered species list in 2007.
Without the protection provided by the ESA in our borderlands, critical habitat for species might be destroyed or fragmented, essential migratory routes disrupted, and access to crucial water resources blocked. Any of these outcomes would increase the risk of extinction of vulnerable migratory Sonoran Desert species such as the desert pronghorn. Click here for a list of all 48 federal laws that have been waived for construction of a border wall.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Endangered Species Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.