This was another one of those "We have to pass this to find out what is in it" laws. When a snail darter becomes more important than people, America is really screwed up, but don't expect the act to be changed anytime soon.
What needs to be done is for Congress to become an endangered species!
-- JOHN FAULKNER, Richland
Landowners have right
Yes, I think the Endangered Species Act has gone too far. They have more than 2,000 acres along the river for their use, they should not be allowed to take private lands from the landowners. No one ever came to talk with us about this. All of our land is useful to us. If they can do this, where will it stop?
-- FAYE PHIPPS, Mesa
Use smart alternatives
I am not sure that the Endangered Species Act is defined enough. Granted, it is there to protect "endangered" species and must pass critical tests for something to qualify as "endangered." However, using this as a way to do a land grab or to cripple a working farm or causing millions in halted production should not be allowed to happen. There are alternatives to everything. Relocation can and does happen. If something is on the endangered species list, then we put it there, either by hunting it to extinction or introducing a known predator or just overusing the lands.
You cannot, however, make one person or entity pay for the sins of millions by saying, "Oops, now we need to fix this." Now that it is endangered is not the time to fix something. It should have been fixed before. It's not like we didn't have a warning.
I think this act needs to be reworked and an amicable solution needs to be agreed upon. The days of eminent domain for a plant or a bird are behind us. We have technology and it's time to use it to everyone's' advantage.
-- HELEN NEWMAN, Kennewick
The bigger question
This is a subject I'm not very versed in. The media supplies the only subject matter that comes to mind, when it covers a mountain of timber we can't harvest because a moth or small bird is using it. I guess it's a matter of perception. I agree that Siberian tigers should be protected and have a preserve where they are safe from hunters, but a moth just doesn't do it for me. I suppose in the scheme of things it serves some purpose other than eating down our forests!
When I think about endangered species, I think about all those that have come and gone over the millennia and Mother Nature has adjusted. Some of those like the Dodo bird may have had no real impact on nature one way or the other. Some of today's endangered species may fall into that same category. It's not enough that a species just exists, it must play a role in nature. It must be either destroyer or food source.
The Endangered Species Act should not be "forcing" a species to continue when Mother Nature may have other plans.
One day it will be our turn, as all things must die in nature and we are part of that plan. What will take our place?
-- HELEN THOMPSON, Othello