Last week I was lucky enough to accompany conservationists, farmers and hunters from across the Great Lakes States as they converged on Washington DC. They came hundreds of miles to talk to their elected officials. They echoed the voice of millions of Americans who value our wild spaces and all the creatures that occupy them. We were joined by Barry Babcock and Sandra Skinaway from Minnesota. Barry is a decade long hunter and conservationist. Sandra is the chairwoman of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa, and a long time wolf advocate. From Wisconsin we had Mary Falk, an organic cheese farmer who uses protection dogs for her flock. Also from Wisconsin was Melissa Smith, a Madison based Wolf advocate and conservationist. We were lucky to have Endangered Species Coalition board member Major General Michael Lehnert (Ret) join us from Michigan. (Michael Lehnert’s recent op-ed.)
Our delegation of Great Lakes participants met with some of their elected leaders and made clear their support of the Endangered Species Act. They did an amazing job reverberating our coalition’s message of support for the Endangered Species Act. Their compelling personal experiences in our nation’s wild spaces have left them with an appreciation for our ecology that few will ever experience. It was absolutely vital that lawmakers heard their voice so that they can better understand this important issue through the eyes of the people who live and work among wolves daily.
These voices came to speak out against any congressional attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act with species specific attacks. Currently, there are two bills introduced in the US Congress that would aim to chip away at the Endangered Species Act, both H.R. 884 and H.R. 843 would not only undermine wolf recovery, but also the Endangered Species Act itself. The Endangered Species Act is one of the most effective and important environmental laws in our nation’s history. We have brought many species back from the brink of extinction. That is why it is so important we safeguard our progress by ensuring we have the strongest Endangered Species Act as possible.
I am grateful for the support of these amazing and dedicated individuals. We had an amazing experience and their thoughtful insights will go a long way to help our campaign. Please help us and make your voice heard as well!
–Contact your federal lawmakers and tell them NOT to remove federal protection for wolves.
–Send a letter to the editor to help spread the word about the assault on wildlife and the Endangered Species Act.