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ESA Pitted against our economy


by Nita Still, Montegue 11/20/09

Dear Editor,

While looking through some papers I ran off in 2007, about what the Enviros are doing with the ESA and all laws they want to pass, I found an article by Jay O'Laughlin from the University of Idaho called, "The Political Economy of Endangered Species Conservation." It is from "Electronic Green Journal." December 1998, Special Issue 9, accession #7435561, at the Library.

"As the book titled Saving All the Parts: Reconciling Economics and the Endangered Species Act (Barker 1993) implies, the policy choice mechanisms in the ESA reconcile economic issues in favor of saving protected species, with almost no consideration of economic consequences. The ESA begins with a statement about economics: "The Congress finds and declares that...various species of fish, wildlife and plants have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development untempered (not accomodated) by adequate concern and conservation." (ESA sec 2). The law is designed to redress the perceived imbalance between economic activity and species conservation. The goal of the ESA is conserving biological diversity, which in its simplest terms is the variety of life and its processes, including the variety of living things, the genetic differences among them and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur (Keystsone Center 1991)."

(Did you know that): "We are all somewhat poorer because no one knows "The Song of the Dodo" (Quammen 1996), and the ESA is to prevent additional species extinctions." (same article).

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for most ESA actions, except for conservation of salmon and a few marine species that are the responsibility of the National Marine Fisheries Service (O'Laughlin 1997)."

"Driven by the ESA, the Pacific Northwest region has become a laboratory for large-scale experiments in ecosystem-based management for species conservation. First, in 1993, was FEMAT, an acronym for the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team assembled following President Clinton's directive to conserve the threatened northern spotted owl in federal forests in Western Washington, western Oregon and northern California. Because the spotted owl inhabits late successional (consecutive) forests, conservation issues include the preservation of "ancient forests" and subsequent reduction in timber harvests from federal lands throughout the region. President Clinton also directed federal agencies to come up with an ecosystem-based management approach for federal lands in the Interior Columbia River Basin. This plan has been in the making since 1993 under the ICBEMP, or Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Two resource management issues drive the ICBEMP effort. First and foremost is salmon conservation under the ESA. A distant second is deteriorating forest conditions in the region, including overstocked strands and fragmented landscapes. These are not unrelated issues. Much salmon spawning and rearing habitat is in forested areas that can be adversely affected by activities such as roads, timber harvesting, cattle grazing and river-based recreation, and events such as landslides and wildfires. Comparing the past 25 years to the 60 years preceding it, fire control problems have doubled, including fire suppression costs, firefighter fatalities per year, and high intensity fires. Such fires pose threats to ecological integrity, water quality, species recovery and rural homes (Quigley et al. 1996)."

All this shows that the Department of Interior, et all, and the Enviros are cooperating with each other, and the only way we can keep the dams is to file a law suit and continue to use the Coordination Protocol. That is if the Judge uses Common Sense!

The BOS and their Attorney should NOT wait until the Three Agreements are completed. These three Agreements were and are created to take out the dams! I say, HEAD 'EM OFF AT THE PASS!

Thank you, Sincerely, Nita Still
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