Where Have They Gone

.. ient use of the existing areas we are using. These two ideas, are good examples of how the human race destroys the environment around them. We continue to hurt our wildlife, but there are people out there to fight against the pollution and destruction caused by large corporations and businesses. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 has helped tremendously in the battle for survival of species like the turtles in Hawaii as well as other threatened and endangered species of out planet. (http://www.fws.gov/r9end.com). This act prohibits the further destruction or death of the species.

By the Endangered Species Act, citizens of the United States are prohibited from taking an endangered or threatened species, declared by the U.S. Fish and Wilidlife Service, from its environment whether on United States soil or in its waters. Punishment if caught breaking the lwas instead in this act are as follows; 25,000 dollars if caught violating the rules listed above, 12,000 forknowingly participating in the importing or exporting of such species. Any person who otherwise violates any provision of this Act, or any regulation, permit, or certificate issued hereunder, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $500 for each such violation. (http://endangered.fws.gov/esa.html) Although this act is a great step towards the restoration of threatened and endangered species many feel the act isnt worth the money.

A proposed amendment to the Endangered Species Act threatened many aspects of the project. The proposed amendment was an attempt to undermine the project of funding and political support. The amendment to section 403 of the Endangered Species Act would literally wipe out many of the endangered species protected by this bill. The sea turtles of Hawaii wouldnt stand a chance if the amendment would have passed, said supporters of the Endangered Species Act and endangered species around the world, We cant just let them take back what we have worked so hard for. Shrimp nets alone kill 55,000 turtles a year in the Hawaiian Islands. (http://www.turtles.org/threats).

If the Endangered Species Act is undermined where will these endangered species turn? Some senators who support the amendments to undermine the act are back in congress for a second term and many feel the amendments to the Endangered Species Act will be brought up again and re-voted. (http://www,turtles.org/threats). Senator Slade Gorton was one supporter of the bill to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Are these accusations of inhumanity and lack of care for nature completely true about Senator Gorton? On Senator Gortons web site (http://senate.gov/~gorton), he shows his compassion for nature. A letter thanking him for his help on saving trees and several streams in his home state of Washington from the Sierra club was one such article bringing up questions of whether he was so bad. Others seem to think otherwise, but it is hard to tell without actually knowing him or all his work.

Many other laws and acts have been implemented to stop the decline in population of many endangered and threatened species. One it the Marine Mammal Act, which protects the many species in our oceans. The Clean Water and Clean Air acts were also adopted to help protect these endangered species from human threats. One example of how humans have hurt many different species of animals is pesticides, especially the pesticide DDT, which was used in World War II to keep insects away from soldiers. After the war, the pesticide was brought back to the United States and used very carelessly. DDT seeped into the streams and contaminated almost every species that ate fish or other animals that had been infected with DDT.

From the contaminated fish the pesticide went up the food chain and began killing off the bald eagles. After the substance DDT was nationally banned in 1973 the bald eagle has begun to make a comeback like most of the other species affected by our carelessness. (Discovery, The Bald Eagle). Just because the Bald Eagle is the symbol of our country does that mean we have more of an obligation to protect it than the sea turtles? Hopefully we will be able to stop the amendments one more time, but if they are made what will happen to the animals that depend on it? We have the obligations to protect these animals. We have placed them in this situation and it is our fault many of these species are endangered today. We cannot continue to let them slip away if we can do something about it. Many organizations are trying to keep these laws in place.

Others who feel that our money should go to more worthy causes, even though we personally are responsible for the decline in many species. I think we need to support the laws that are in effect as of right now and try to get better funding for the organizations that are already in place. We dont need new laws, we need to support and help fund the ones we already have. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one of the big organizations that helps protect the endangered species as well as helping to educate and fund other small organizations that can do their part as well.

It may not be easy to get funding for programs like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but we can achieve this goal if we work hard. A good example of how we can help to preserve our endangered wildlife is we can implement a tax that will provide money to these programs. We can add a tax to companies who contribute to the destruction of our environment. For example, if a company produces pollution they should be forced to pay a tax.

We can place a standard tax for all companies and corporations who do this or we can base the amount owed by the amount of pollution or amount of destruction caused by the corporation on the environment. For companies that we are unable to tell how much exactly contribute to the destruction of the environment, we can require a base sum. A starting base sum could be five hundred dollars a year for all the companies who contribute to the destroying of the Earth. We can assemble a committee of U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents to assess the amount of pollution a company produces and then a fitting cost for that pollution.

It might take a little while to put this proposal into effect. If we anticipated the slow advancement of passing the law in congress it would take six or seven years to implement this law. It wouldnt take a lot of money, but definitely some money would be required. It would take several thousand to advertise if it wasnt donated by a company who felt strongly about the issue at hand. I would think an estimate of about $500,00-60,000 dollars would easily cover the expenses of advertising, salaries for workers and any other expenses.

Donations and fundraisers would be used to accumulate enough money to get the support of the people. When I discussed my proposal with my friend, she felt that it was a good idea and that the organizations like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service need the money to study and set up programs to save endangered species and these programs need money. She felt it would be hard to get the bill passed because congressmen have ties with big corporations that pollute and they wouldnt have to pay fees. So most likely the proposal would be stopped. Although she didnt see the bill being passed she said that if we accumulate enough money to advertise and get the support of the people, congressmen would be forced to vote for the bill or they might not be reelected.

If she has strong feelings about this subject, Im sure the majority of this society is concerned about the environment and about our future. We need to try and get funds for programs and organizations that help endangered and threatened species. Many organizations rely on donations and money from supporters. We need to find ways to get more money for these programs and the proposal of taxes on companies who pollute is just one possibility. Everyone contributes to the destruction of the environment and we all have to do our part to help the species we are killing off.

Species like the Pacific Salmon, who were threatened by the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989. As well as other species like the sea turtles in Hawaii who were on the verge of extinction until a recent turn around because of help from organizations and individuals. Individuals who take the burden upon their shoulders and make it their business to make up for all the people who could care less what happens to their environment. We need to protect our environment form the people who seek to destroy it for money and success. I think the beauty of the ocean is worth saving. Every creature and every unique species is a creature worth saving. We dont have the right to kill those who arent as smart or sophisticated as us. They have just as mush right to the Earth as we do.

We dont have the right to over fish herring in Alaska or cut down all the trees in rain forests just for money and the profit these.