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Voters Think Biologists, Not Politicians, Should Dictate ESA Changes.


There have been moves in Congress to limit protections under the Endangered Species Act recently, and that may not sit well with voters. A new poll shows a majority of Americans support the current version of the ESA.

Surveys conducted by environmental groups Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice claim most people think decisions about animal listings should be made by biologists, not politicians. Oregon has 15 species listed as endangered and 28 considered "threatened." Oregon Wild Conservation Director Steve Pedery says he isn't surprised by the results.

Pedery: "Just given the political climate in Washington, D.C., today, with all the attacks on the environment and on public lands, you see something like this and it really reaffirms that the public wants to see their natural heritage protected. They don't believe they have to make a choice, and they understand that's not bad for the economy."

Pedery says Oregon's plan to reintegrate grey wolves is a good example of federal and state collaboration to protect endangered species. Since January, there have been more than 50 proposals in Congress to weaken the ESA. Most were pitched as ways to create jobs and expand business.

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