Letter: Wildlife protections best left to science, not politics

From: Jim Sweeney


Bald eagles and peregrine falcons live in Indiana again thanks to the Endangered Species Act. The reason the act works so well is because it is based on science. Species can only be added or removed from the list based on scientific fact, not on politics.

Ninety percent of Americans support the ESA and its mission, so it’s difficult to believe the law is, again, under attack. There have been 180 legislative assaults on the act since January 2015, most by large corporations that don’t want to be regulated. The latest is S.1514. It eliminates protection for gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region, overruling a reinstatement of the wolves’ endangered listing, and it prohibits judicial review of the decision. This undermines the right of Americans to challenge government decisions in court.

We need a strong Endangered Species Act to conserve our wildlife heritage, be it wolves in Michigan or whooping cranes in Indiana. Congress should not undermine the ESA by putting critical ecological decisions in the hands of politicians instead of biologists. Please help protect the law by contacting Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and urge them not to support S. 1514 or any other bill that would weaken the ESA.