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Editorial: An irresponsible endangerment of land and life

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln, who signed off on what became the first national park, Yosemite, of Ulysses S. Grant, who established Yellowstone National Park in 1872, of Teddy Roosevelt, who added five national parks and created 18 national monuments, among them the Grand Canyon. Now, under President Donald Trump, Republicans are poised to become the party of extinction.

Recognizing that much could change with the midterm elections, western state Republicans and their supporters in the gas, oil, mining and ranching and development sectors, are making an all-out effort to weaken the federal Endangered Species Act signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1973. That’s the act that saved the bald eagles that daily fly over the Merrimack River and nest on New Hampshire’s lakes and seacoast.

“It’s probably the best chance that we have had in 25 years to actually make any substantial changes,” former California congressman and current lobbyist Richard Pombo told the New York Times.

The changes, championed by Trump appointee Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, would make it harder to add new species to the endangered species list, easier to remove species from the list, and open more public lands harboring threatened and endangered species to drilling and mining and grazing. All for a pittance paid to the public. The proposed gutting of the Endangered Species Act ignores science. It ignores the right of each of Earth’s many forms of life to live. It ignores the responsibility of humankind to put morality above profit and greed.

A slate of New Hampshire Republicans are running for Congress. Pin them down. Find out where they stand, and, consider supporting the many organizations that are fighting to ensure that all species enjoy the right to life.