On the Endangered Species Act

June, 2017


Virginia Henry (pictured below right) wrote this piece during the Reagan years of 1981 - 1989. In reviewing some of her work of that era, she recently discovered this piece and found it especially relevant to our current time. To paraphrase, here we go again!

Virginia resides in La Selva Beach, CA on the Monterey Bay where she is active in local environmental and community activites. The following piece was submitted to EcoNews by Virginia’s daughter, Roberta Duggan.


In spite of the lampooning and inaccurate and highly selective reporting of how the Endangered Species Act functions, education on the subject has given many appreciation of this legislation and all it accomplishes.  You may feel the same if:

You are religious—and feel reverence for all of God’s creations,

You are spiritual—and have a strong sense of unity with all of life,

You are pragmatic—and recognize the long-term costs of short-term views,

You are conservative—and know that living off principal is bad economic policy,

You are liberal—and want everyone now and in the future to share in the fullness of life as we have it,

You are completely human-centered—and fear unknowingly destroying a resource that could have great economic or life-saving value for mankind,

You are scientific—and understand the dynamic of an integrated system,

You are none of the above or all of the above—but you feel delight when you see butterflies caught in a shaft of sunlight, hear a woodpecker drumming, catch the sharp scent of the bay tree as its leaves decay on the forest floor - and you know for each of these small miracles there is an unseen world at work, a world of creepy-crawlies and slimies, of critters and plants, visible and invisible , each with its own function, all necessary.

Since the first cell divided, species have developed and disappeared and will continue to do both, but for the first time one species, our very own, has the power to alter life on earth, profoundly and permanently.  Whether we do it out of lack of awareness, thoughtlessness or greed, there will be no going back.