26 January 2015

Up in Smoke

I've found that being an environmentalist can be addictive.

This addiction stems from a desire to help protect something I see as immeasurably special. I felt that protective urge very early in life, and it grew until I wanted to protect every single mechanism of nature.

The story of the West Coast fisher provides a great example of my addiction. As I blogged about here, after being virtually wiped out from much of its original range, the fisher has started to make a comeback with the help of reintroduction projects. I first got excited about their return when a population was reestablished in the Olympic National Park. That success led to reintroduction programs in Washington's Cascade Mountains.

Success stories certainly add to the addictive nature of environmentalism, but nothing feeds the addiction more than success that is threatened. And now, all the work that has gone into bringing the fisher back is at risk because of the illegal use of rodenticide (much of which is used to protect illegal marijuana planting) and other factors. As a result, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing listing the West Coast fisher as threatened. Check out a video explaining the proposal below:

This proposal to protect fishers and support the previous work to keep them around further triggered my protective instincts. I submitted my comments in support of the proposed listing and would like to share the opportunity with others. For more information about the proposal and how to comment on it, click here. The deadline is February 4.

Yes, I'm addicted, and I see no end to my desire to protect nature from thoughtless destruction.

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