FWS Rulemaking Docket FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0006
One of the strongest center pieces of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 has been its reliance on science. Man must understand the world in which he lives so he may act and live accordingly, making sure our world remains habitable for all of the earth’s living creatures, including us. Since we are called to be good stewards of this planet, we cannot and should not take that responsibility lightly. We need to use the knowledge we gain to make sure we make those decisions appropriately. The minute we start to sacrifice or hold to a different calling, we are sacrificing the world as we know it. This would be unforgivable.
Proposed changes by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce have been announced in the Federal Register on July 25, 2018. These comments specifically pertain to FWS Rulemaking Docket FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0006. This proposed FWS Rulemaking Docket would insert economics into what should be a purely science-based decision on the survivability of a species. After all, why should the economics of whether we should or should not mine or explore for mineral wealth in a sensitive habitat be a contributing factor as to whether a species lives or becomes extinct. And this is what would happen if the proposed changes to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act became law. I still feel there is this Westward Expansion concept where we think we have unlimited amount of resources and that they are all here to make the Nation rich and us richer. This is a selfish and arrogant attitude.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity they state the following: "relentless pressure from habitat destruction and climate change associated with exploding human populations, species are going extinct at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate." Allowing other factors, but specifically economics, into this decision-making process will not help the survivability of a species, but only place them in even more peril. This proposed change wasn't designed to make the ESA stronger, but only to weaken it. This would surely be a very slippery slope in spite of proponent's claims to the contrary. To be blunt, this proposal of including economics into the decision-making process sets a standard; a standard that we would sacrifice and would legitimize, the future of a species over the ability to increase the coffers of rich financiers and corporate interests. This is not and should not be the concern or the responsibility of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is not your mission.
Therefore, I strongly urge that all proposed changes to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act be rejected. The science is there, but I’m urging this administration based upon philosophical and moral grounds not to approve the proposed changes.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment.