Letter: Congress should provide more funds to protect threatened and endangered species

As federal allocation decisions are made in Washington, DC this summer, many critical policies and programs will be considered. An important conservation element that must be included is increased funding for threatened and endangered species.

Biodiversity is essential to our quality of life and to the health of our economy. It is undeniable that we need clean air, clean water, outdoor spaces and countless other goods and services provided by nature. Sadly, around 1 million species worldwide are threatened with extinction, including Atlantic salmon, red knot and leatherback turtle here in Maine. The stewardship of our lands and waters and the preservation of the rich diversity of species are well worth the investment of public funds.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree recognizes the value of protecting biodiversity, including species at risk. She co-sponsored House Resolution 69 calling for the creation of a national biodiversity strategy. Adequate funding for the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) will help prevent extinction and, at best, can lead to the full recovery of valuable and ecologically important species. Builders can see with their own eyes the success of the bald eagle in our state thanks to ESA.

I appreciate the efforts of MP Pingree to highlight the value of biodiversity. As chair of the Home and Environment Credit Subcommittee, Congresswoman Pingree has the opportunity to prioritize species protection. I encourage him to increase federal funding in FY 22 for ESA to improve the environment, people and communities in Maine.

Maine has a climate and environmental champion in Congressman Pingree, and I look forward to seeing her continued leadership on species conservation and restoration issues through the ownership process.

Sally Oldham,
Portland

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