Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Gov. Napolitano says keep AZ Bald Eagles safe
PHOENIX -- It is widely expected that tomorrow the US Fish & Wildlife Service will move to end Endangered Species Act protections nationwide for the Bald Eagle.
America's national symbol is doing much better these days in much of the country as a result of the Act's protections, but unfortunately Bald Eagles are still threatened in Arizona and the southwest.
Only 43 pairs of Bald Eagles live in Arizona today.
Desert Nesting Bald Eagles are still imperiled largely due to the 90%+ losses of desert streams and riparian areas in the southwest. While eagles in the Great Lakes or other places may no longer need the Act's shield, Arizona's eagles still need it.
Arizona's Tribal leadership has been strongly in favor of keeping Desert Eagles protected by the ESA, but the Bush/Cheney Interior Department has not consulted with the Tribes in a respectful and meaningful government-to-government manner.
Listening to Arizonans and caring for the eagles, Governor Napolitano sent letter yesterday to Interior Secretary Kempthorne, saying "Arizona's Tribal leaders are uniformly in favor of maintaining the protections that stem from inclusion on the Endangered Species List for the Sonoran Desert Nesting Bald Eagle... I believe it is important to keep this population on the Endangered Species List..."
Arizona Democratic Congressmen Grijalva and Mitchell have also supported keeping ESA protections in place for Desert Nesting Bald Eagles.
As America celebrates the return of the beautiful Bald Eagle, let's not forget the Eagles still endangered in the southwest. We can and should restore Desert Eagles too.
UPDATE, 6/28: Today the Bush/Cheney administration removed Bald Eagles from the ESA list, including in Arizona and the southwest.