Thriving Wildlife Benefits People Enormously

Janine Jackson: Like Social Security, the Endangered Species Act is historically and presently very popular. People, in the main, get the idea that trying not to wipe species off the face of the earth is a meaningful way to reflect the recognition that human life is sustained and enriched by a healthy and diverse environment. And as with Social Security, there are some who see the Endangered Species Act as primarily an obstacle keeping them and their friends from making the maximum amount of money possible.

The trouble is, too often media seem to balance those perspectives in reporting on the Act. Now the Trump administration is going all out to push back on central parts of the Endangered Species Act. What sort of reporting would make clear what’s at stake, and why we’re in this fight in the first place? We’re joined now for an update on things by Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. He joins us now by phone from Toronto. Welcome to CounterSpin, Brett Hartl.

Brett Hartl: Thanks a lot for having me.

This is a multi-front assault, as I understand it, from the Trump White House on regulations relevant to the Endangered Species Act. What are some of the pieces of what’s going on right now?

Well, sure, and it’s important to understand that, like you said, the Endangered Species Act is a remarkably successful and popular law. It has saved 99 percent of the species under its care from extinction, and the way it has done it is through a series of rules and safeguards…

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