Hewitt's call--with the Bush Administration--for revision of the Endangered Species Act reveals that the act is protecting our abused environment. Anyone concerned with the quality of his environment should resist attempts to rewrite the act which, after all, was a compromise with the ideal when it was passed.
Lumber, only one element in building, has become an issue because of the industry's abuse of their harvesting practices on both private and public land. In view of their scarcity, were forest harvests priced as other building materials, the industry would long ago have adjusted building schedules, land usages, and pricing policies consistent with long-range costs.
No one would argue with Hewitt's call for efficiency in preservation efforts. However, environmental successes have come on budgets that are Lilliputian compared to government or industry expenditures. Were industry efforts equally efficient, he would have no need to be concerned for pricing first-time buyers out of the market.
Global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain and polluted water and air are only symptoms of our need for greater care of the environment. If we are to save ourselves, we must also preserve our national lands, our ancient forests and our dwindling wildlife, whose beneficial contributions to our planet exceed our own.