Editorials and Opinion
EDITORIAL: Navy should do its best to help protect whales (Fresno Bee [CA] , 12/27/13)
"There are numerous studies that show that sonar and live fire tests can kill and injure endangered species. Environmental groups are not specifically objecting to the tests as a concept, but rather are asking for further analysis to make sure that mass whale beachings and strandings, such as the 200 melon-headed whales that came up in 2004 off Maui after Navy sonar tests, don't happen again. The Earthjustice suit asks that the Navy "consider alternatives that would allow the Navy to achieve its goals with less damage."
We agree with the environmental groups' shot across the bow: The Navy's record in protecting this marine wildlife is, shall we say, dead in the water. The Navy's job is to keep Americans safe. That is its first and highest calling. But it also should find alternatives to threatening endangered species."
Editorial: Navy should find alternatives to threatening endangered species (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 12/27/13)
"There are numerous studies that show that sonar and live fire tests can kill and injure endangered species....The Earthjustice suit asks that the Navy “consider alternatives that would allow the Navy to achieve its goals with less damage.” We agree with the environmental groups’ shot across the bow: The Navy’s record in protecting this marine wildlife is, shall we say, dead in the water. The Navy’s job is to keep Americans safe. Obviously, that is its first and highest calling. But it also should find alternatives to threatening endangered species."
Editorial: Endangered Species Act threatened Proposal in Congress would change how we protect animals (Florida Today, 12/27/13)
"Now, there is a serious threat to the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would hand more of the decision-making on endangered species to the states. ... In Florida, home to so many popular endangered species, the people understand the value of the current law. A survey by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences found that 66 percent of those responding felt the Endangered Species Act should be strengthened, and 78 percent agreed or strongly agreed “the use and development of land should be restricted to protect endangered species.”"
Editorial: Praise for the Endangered Species Act (Wisconsin State Journal, 12/26/13)
"Yet the gray wolf’s return and success here shows the power of the Endangered Species Act to preserve and promote some of our most vulnerable creatures, often for the benefit of all. ... State and wildlife officials now must use care to ensure the wolf thrives over time and never returns to imperiled status. The Endangered Species Act is probably best known for helping to save the bald eagle and large mammals such as the grizzly bear. Yet the act has helped lots of smaller species of insects, fish, reptiles and plants.... the act helps humans more than it hurts. Protecting the bald eagle, for example, led to a better understanding of and restrictions on the pesticide DDT – benefiting the regal birds as well as humans. An endangered mint has been found to act as a natural insecticide. The anti-cancer drug taxol comes from an endangered tree. Then there are the wolves in Wisconsin and across the Midwest. They help to control the deer population, which helps to protect plant diversity. On its 40th anniversary this Saturday, the Endangered Species Act is worthy of far more celebration than detraction."
Editorial: The threat to Florida's manatees (Tampa Bay Times [FL], 12/20/13)
"The record kill-off this year, coming as the state's waters get more polluted, should be a wake-up call to state lawmakers and regulators, and a reminder to the voting public that protecting the environment must be serious work and not a political slogan.... meantime, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not grant a petition being considered that would downgrade the status of manatees from an endangered to a threatened species. With this year's die-off, the mystery over what's happening in the Indian River Lagoon and the declining health of Florida's springs, this is no time to begin scaling back protections for manatees."
The hellbender deserves a shot at salvation: editorial (Cleveland Plain Dealer [OH], 12/20/13)
"[C]onstruction of dams along the Ohio River and pollution in the streams have largely wiped out the giant salamanders .... It also would eliminate a natural indicator of an ecosystem that's in trouble.... It would be sad on many levels if the hellbender were allowed to disappear for good from Ohio, where it's on the endangered species list. Lipps, the inmates in Marion prison and everyone else involved in its preservation should be commended and supported in their efforts."
OUR VIEW Idaho cries big, bad wolf once again (Moscow-Pullman Daily News [ID], 12/19/13)
Devin Rokyta, for the editorial board: "In a seemingly never-ending battle to vilify and treat wolves as inhumanely as possible, Idaho state officials and Idaho For Wildlife, which pretends to be dedicated to the preservation of the state's wildlife, have once again combined to embarrass the Gem State and solidify the fact it is incapable of responsibly and ethically managing the predator."
EDITORIAL: Our View: Endangered species are in political peril (Sentinel [Carlisle, PA], 11/23/13)
"The rigorous science of determining which species are endangered or threatened, animal or plant, and their impact on the environment, should not be subject to political second-guessing sculpted to serve economic interests."
EDITORIAL: Manatee not out of danger (Tampa Tribune [FL] , 11/02/13)
"And the death rate shows the manatee remains endangered.
Manatee protections — including slow-speed zones for boats in areas manatee frequent and prohibitions against harming or harassing the creatures — enacted after the adoption of the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1973 have helped.... The manatee’s status, to a great degree, reflects Florida’ stewardship of its coastal resources."
With stroke of a pen, Gov. Brown keeps California in line: Editorial (San Bernadino Sun [CA], 10/14/13)
"The environment was a big topic this year. Brown was friendly to wild animals in signing a ban on trapping bobcats just outside national and state parks, a big issue around Joshua Tree, and a ban on lead ammunition, which can kill California condors that feed on carcasses left behind by hunters."
EDITORIAL: Our View: Lead ammo ban will protect wildlife (Bakersfield Californian [CA], 10/12/13)
"Other states tend to follow California on sensible legislation, and this law is worthy of duplication. ... Most importantly, this law will protect California wildlife, and any true steward of the environment -- armed or not -- should be able to appreciate that."
Editorial: Let's go slow before messing with endangered species (Evening Sun [Hanover, PA], 10/11/13)
"The notion that a rare species might interfere with frictionless profiteering isn't limited to natural gas drilling.... Nonetheless, we find it interesting that the latest pro-business legislation under consideration by the Pennsylvania General Assembly emerged in a post-natural gas landscape. The Endangered Species Coordination Act (Senate Bill 1047 and House Bill 1576) ...it seems unlikely that a regulatory review agency staffed by people appointed by the people who gave natural drillers their sweetheart deal will be very much inclined to buck business and industry interests....Once an endangered species is gone, it's gone forever.
The sheer finality of overbalancing the regulatory climate in favor of industry begs for a slow, measured legislative approach in a state known for basing regulatory decisions on industry-funded scientific studies."
Let's go slow before messing with endangered species (editorial) (York Daily Record [PA], 10/11/13)
"The key thing to know about this legislation is that it proposes to standardize regulations for rare species by putting the state Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission under the thumb of the state's Independent Regulatory Review Commission. This is a unique five-member regulatory review board - no other state has one - that essentially subjects proposed regulations to scrutiny by political appointees."
Editorial: An encouraging effort to help loons (Concord Monitor [NH], 10/10/13)
"Gov. Maggie Hassan and the New Hampshire Legislature took a big step toward protecting New Hampshire’s iconic loon population this year by approving legislation to further restrict the use of lead fishing tackle that is toxic to loons as well as other fish-feeders, including bald eagles and great blue herons....Saving loons is critical not just because of their black-and-white beauty and haunting call but also because they are a key indicator of the health of lakes and marine ecosystems across the country. New Hampshire has now taken the obvious and important steps in banning lead tackle."
Let's go slow before messing with endangered species (Editorial) (Chambersburg Public Opinion [PA], 10/10/13)
"The key thing to know about this legislation is that it proposes to standardize regulations for rare species by putting the state Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission under the thumb of the state's Independent Regulatory Review Commission....it seems unlikely that a regulatory review agency staffed by people appointed by the people who gave natural drillers their sweetheart deal will be very much inclined to buck business and industry interests."
Editorial: Safeguard natures's web (Pocono Record [PA] , 09/30/13)
"Pennsylvania House Bill 1576, which would gut the state's Endangered Species Act, should go extinct.... Pennsylvania's Endangered Species Act is working to protect some 80-odd species. ...Listing a plant or animal for protection should not depend on the whim or convenience of a developer or driller, but on whether inclusion on the list for protection will help it survive in the Keystone State. It's important for Pennsylvania to protect its biological diversity. Each species in Pennsylvania, however obscure, plays a distinct but integrated role in the whole fabric of nature."
EDITORIAL: Longing for longleaf (Beaumont Enterprise [TX], 09/27/13)
"Its original 90 million acres have shrunk to 3 million acres.
That's a shame, because many native species of animals and plants are dependent on longleaf forests, including at least 29 threatened and endangered species. Finally, forest managers are working to replant the trees that were here when Columbus landed."
EDITORIAL: Hits and misses (Press-Enterprise [Riverside, CA], 09/27/13)
"HEALTHIER HUNTING: The state already bans the use of lead ammunition in areas frequented by the endangered California Condor, but AB 711 would extend that ban to the entire state. ...prime hunting zones can have substantial concentrations of lead from the shooting that occurs during hunting season — which poses a lingering threat to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, ravens and mountain lions."
EDITORIAL: Phony protection: Pa. politicians seek power on endangered species (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA], 09/27/13)
"If you trust ideologically driven politicians more than the professionals, then House Bill 1576 is for you. The measure, which has 67 cosponsors, treats current regulations and the species they protect as a nuisance to economic progress.... the threat from this bill to Pennsylvania wildlife is real. Leave the management of endangered species to the professionals. Politicians should keep their distance."
Ban lead ammo for a more humane California: Editorial (San Bernadino Sun [CA], 09/26/13)
"Whereas when lead bullets are used, more than 130 wildlife species are at risk of what is called “a cruel and extremely painful death from lead poisoning due to spent lead ammunition left in the environment.” They include endangered or protected species like the California condor and golden eagle."
Ban lead ammo for a more humane California: Editorial (Los Angeles Daily News [CA], 09/26/13)
"The governor should sign the bill before the Oct. 13 deadline to protect California wildlife from unintentional harm from deadly lead ... when lead bullets are used, more than 130 wildlife species are at risk of what is called “a cruel and extremely painful death from lead poisoning due to spent lead ammunition left in the environment.” They include endangered or protected species like the California condor and golden eagle."
Have some sympathy for the sharks (Observer-Reporter [PA], 09/21/13)
"[S]harks do play a crucial role in the oceanic ecosystem, helping to keep reefs healthy and limiting fish populations. Sharks have been threatened, though, by a trade in their fins, which are commonly used in soup. ...a bill was introduced in the state Senate that would ban the sale and possession of shark fins in Pennsylvania. While this is obviously not a top-tier issue for most voters across the state, it is worthy of support."
Our Take: Turtle power (Orlando Sentinel [FL] , 09/20/13)
"Green and loggerhead sea turtles are making a comeback, thanks largely to an active nesting period along the southeastern United States.Is the success enough to end 30 years of federal protections against man-made threats such as artificial lighting, diminished habitat, hunters and pollution? Hardly.But the increases are remarkable and worth celebrating for two species that once appeared headed toward extinction.The news is especially grand for the green turtle, which is experiencing a dramatic rebound.... For the turnaround, credit the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, which forbids killing sea turtles or disturbing their nesting areas.Preserving an endangered species is more a marathon than a sprint, and more needs to be done to protect these impressive creatures. But good news is worth trumpeting."
EDITORIAL: Ban lead bullets in hunting (San Francisco Chronicle [CA], 09/19/13)
"Now it's time for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a measure passed by the Legislature that would ban lead from bullets, which spew the metal into California's outdoors and the wildlife food chain."
Editorial: Celebrate, with caution, sea turtle's triumphant return (Sun Sentinel [FL], 09/19/13)
Sun Sentinel Editorial Board: "For the turnaround, credit the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, which forbids killing sea turtles or disturbing their nesting areas. ... sea turtles still face many man-made threats ... today, let us celebrate the record-setting number of sea turtle nests we've had the pleasure to witness this season."
Editorial: Laurels & Lances (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review [PA] , 09/19/13)
"On the “Watch List”: The Endangered Species Coordination Act. We would hope the state Legislature goes slow on approving State Rep. Jeff Pyle's (R-Ford City) proposed law. There are serious questions still unanswered — among others, will the law result in the loss of both federal funds and state sovereignty on the issue? These will need to be addressed before this legislation goes to the governor's desk."