THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: IT'S TIME TO REPEAL THIS LAW
By Michael E. Cook
I fail to understand why the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures spend all the time they do on stupid, frivolous legislation when they should be worried about the economy and budgets. They spend more time and effort building road blocks to the conduct of business and industry and preventing people from using their own land than they do handling the functions and tasks they are elected to perform. The government was never meant to be the largest road block to the people. Rather, it was supposed to help us.
Boy, has that changed. If you don't believe it, just look at Oregon. It's dying because of government interference. The people should be so mad and upset that they march on the national and state capitals and demand that our federal and state governments take care of their legitimate business and forget all this other, foolish stuff. Then we should insist that they do away with much of what they have passed into law since the Civil War and start over.
I think it is high time for a review of existing legislation. Instead of passing more laws, the federal and state governments should review the multitude of laws we already have. We should demand that review and make it a law that they can't pass a new law until this happens.
Many laws and acts, like the Endangered Species Act (ESA), started out with good in- tentions, but have turned into disasters, destroying industries and displacing families. With these laws, you can never tell what will happen down the road, e.g., by the time the laws get tested in court and changed. The ESA had a sunset, but it has never been al- lowed to take effect. It is time for the ESA to go away.
U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas is attempting to change the ESA in a small way. I'm sorry, but it doesn't need to be changed; it needs to be done away with. We no longer need it, and our economy will not swing back to the positive side until it is gone. Protection for any animal or plant can be voted on by Congress after evidence has been brought before that body as proof the species needs protection. That is the way our government was meant to work. It sure doesn't need to be determined in our court systems.
The ESA is abused each and every day. The wolf is a great example. The wolf has been listed, but how can it be endangered when wolves are abundant in Alaska and Canada, not to mention other parts of the world? The wolf is no where near extinction in the world. There are plenty of them. Just because one state or one county doesn't have any doesn't make them endangered. It's time to stop this zip coding of animals for listing. You see, that's the stupid joke they are playing with this act. This is the abuse that has been brought to this act, and many others that cause them to be tools to break down our freedoms and livelihoods. They don't do good things; they do harm with this abuse.
In closing I want to say this: All animals on earth will someday be extinct. That includes humans. Man has changed the world from the beginning. Man will continue to change the world. I believe that everything on this planet was put here for our use. While I don't be- lieve in abusing the earth, I do believe that we should manage and control it to our best advantage. If man doesn't control it, nature will. You don't see dinosaurs walking around anymore, do you?
The wolf was eliminated from the lower 48 states because wolves interfered with human activity and threatened human safety and because the land was needed for growing food. The Buffalo had to go for the same reason. We needed the land to grow beef and other food. That was change, and it was a good change. The same principle justified our taking the land from the Indians for our own use. This phenomenon is known as progress.
Now we have people attempting to do away with this progress and force us to regress back to what it was like before all this took place. That, my friends, is stupid and will not help anyone. We are a great nation because we continue to grow. To maintain our power and freedoms, we must continue to grow. So stop these idiots who would turn us into a backwards Third World country, ruled by a few elitists.
It's up to those who are representing us in Congress and in our state legislatures to make the needed changes in existing environmental policy--changes that should include, among other things, outright repeal of the Endangered Species Act. It's up to you to demand these changes, including repeal of the ESA.
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