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Revised rules take us backward in protecting endangered species

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For centuries, people lived as if they were the only species on earth. As a result, many animals have become extinct. Others have seen their populations dwindle to the point of becoming endangered. We finally got smart some years ago. Rules were put in place to protect the populations. But now many of those rules may be rolled back. The Trump administration yesterday announced a roll back of protections for endangered species. The landmark 1973 Endangered Species Act is widely seen as one of America’s premier environmental laws. But these new rules would gut the law that has led to a number of endangered species seeing the health of their population increase, and in some cases thrive. Look no farther than the very symbol of our country, the bald eagle. We are blessed in this part of the country to routinely see the majestic bird flying overhead. That only happened because of the protections our government put in place. President Trump’s decision to gut the Endangered Species Act threatens to once again see animals put at risk. Under the plan, the Endangered Species Act will no longer offer the same protections for threatened species. And economic factors will be part of the decision whether an animal deserves federal protection. This planet does not belong to us exclusively. We need to protect all of God’s creatures. Because the more I see of human behavior, the more I appreciate the animals.

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