08 November 2015

Big Win for Wildlife

Endangered wildlife scored a historic election victory in Washington state last Tuesday.

In October, I blogged about how I-1401, an initiative meant to combat the trafficking of endangered species, was set to appear on the state's 2015 ballot. It increased penalties for those caught with products from 10 endangered species, and it seemed like a no-brainer yes vote, but in elections, you never count your protected species until the results are in.

As it turns out, I-1401 made history in two very good ways. First, it passed, making Washington the first state to institute such strong punishment for illegal wildlife trafficking. Second, by passing with more than 70 percent of the vote, it became the most popular initiative in Washington's history.

The victory sent a resounding message about the importance of protecting endangered wildlife. It also cleared the way for other states to follow in Washington's footsteps.

The passage of I-1401 reminds us that protecting the environment is a winning effort.