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The Endangered 'Endangered Species Act'
Wolves are running free and wild in the west, and the grizzly has been a recovery success along the Rocky Mountains. And yet, fewer than 1 percent of animals on the Endangered Species list have made it off. Devout environmentalists are telling D.C. politicians to keep their editing pencils away from the ESA, arguing that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And to their credit, the current incarnation of the act has preserved many critters that would have otherwise gone the way of the dodo.
My rebuttal to the enviros, though, is would you buy a car that ain't broke yet struggles to get 8 miles to the gallon, or a new hybrid that pushes 50 mpg? Both work, right, but one works better and more efficiently. Clearly the ESA needs revamping so the success rate isn't comparable to the graduation rate of a college football team. First step, ignore the politics and let the biologists make decisions. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the direction Congress is going. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton has implied that changes could include giving political appointees more control over future decisions. Read some of her opinions and tell me what you think.