Letters to the Editor

Trying to co-exist

Fred Grimm’s March 22 column, Who cares about a bunch of manatees?, criticized Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) for challenging federal Endangered Species Act regulations, including those regarding the manatee.

We at PLF are proud of our work to protect individuals from the often cruel and unfair consequences of these regulations, consequences that Grimm flippantly dismisses.

Take our challenge to the Utah prairie dog regulation that he cites.

This regulation, which a federal court recently declared unconstitutional, prevented Utah residents from building homes and protecting their local airport from a rodent that tunnels beneath runways.

And in California, protections for the delta smelt have shut off water to the Central Valley — one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world.

Combined with drought, these restrictions have created a modern-day dust bowl, with already impoverished farm workers facing unemployment rates as high as 50 percent.

Sadly, it’s easy for some to dismiss these consequences when it’s not their home that can’t be built or their job that dries up. We can protect species without dashing people’s dreams.

But dismissing the Endangered Species Act’s consequences as if they were trivial does nothing to help us get there.

Christina Martin, Pacific Legal Foundation, Palm Beach Gardens

Jonathan Wood, Pacific Legal Foundation, Sacramento, Calif.