Patty Morton, San Clemente

Dear editor, I never thought I would see the day when our president’s administration would go to such great lengths to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with so many proposed regulatory changes. The ESA’s track record has been so successful, it is difficult to understand why the current administration would try to weaken its authority by turning the ESA into more of an extinction plan for species already threatened, rather than making a concerted effort to save them.

In a nutshell, these regulatory changes make it more difficult to protect species, add new species to the list, and to protect critical habitat; but it makes it easier to remove species currently on the list, to reduce protections for imperiled species and enable biased listing decisions based on unreliable economic analyses rather than on scientific data. Incorrectly skewed at all angles, it is a shame to watch our country’s priorities shift to devalue wildlife on every level.

It is up to those of us who value wildlife to take a stand for conservation and to oppose all regulatory changes that will tie the hands of the ESA, making it next to impossible to prevent species from disappearing forever. I hope you’ll join me in taking a stand for the ESA and opposing all new changes that will in any way weaken the ESA.

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