Endangered Species Act Protects Alabama’s Wildlife

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Photo Courtesy Billy Pope, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Over the weekend, a juvenile bald eagle was released back into the wild at Roland Cooper State Park after being treated at the Southeastern Raptor Center. Bald eagles can be found all over Alabama, but just a few decades ago the species was in danger of dying out because of habitat destruction and pesticide use. Unfortunately, the law that brought bald eagles back from the brink is now in danger of being seriously weakened by the current administration.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon asked Congress to protect species that were approaching extinction. The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 to recognize that wildlife has immense value for our country, and as such measures should be taken to preserve it. Thanks to this law, habitats are protected so that species like the Bald Eagle can safely nest and raise their young. The pesticide DDT was banned because of its negative impact on our environment. We have the Endangered Species Act to thank for the recovery of iconic American species like the gray wolf, alligators, and the grizzly bear.

In the past two weeks, dozens of bills have been introduced in Congress that would weaken the Endangered Species Act. These include provisions to end protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming and along the Great Lakes, as well as a plan to prohibit the greater sage-grouse from being listed as endangered for the next decade regardless of how few remain. One proposed change to the legislation would make it easier for development projects to be approved even if they threaten critical wildlife habitat. Please ask your members of Congress to defend the Endangered Species Act against these attacks. 

The Endangered Species Act works. It has restored animal and plant populations to healthy levels and proven that we can preserve American wildlife. The Act has broad, bipartisan support from conservation groups as well as hunters and property rights groups. When polled, four of out five Americans support the Endangered Species Act. The changes being proposed would limit the Act and ultimately hurt American wildlife. Please join us in asking Congress to protect the species that help make this country great.

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