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Protection of Endangered Species

December 23, 1990

Rudy Abramson's article: "Wildlife Act: Shield or Sword?" (Column One, Dec. 14) summarizes accurately and concisely the current situation with endangered species and related protective legislation. However, the article failed to discuss the main issue.

Endangered species are a result of ever-increasing numbers of people seeking an ever-higher standard of living by exploiting the world's finite natural resources and thereby impacting fragile habitats.

We are going the wrong way on a freeway during rush hour in our effort to defeat nature, which we obviously cannot do. It seems that our only real hope, for ourselves and our fellow species, lies in our willingness to change our highly materialistic value system and to realize that what is good for spotted owls, Louisiana bears and snail darters will ultimately be good for us.

Mankind (particularly in the developed nations) now finds itself caught between two of its most basic motivations: greed and self-preservation. We have the inherent capability to dampen our appetites for material gain, but will we? Our track record up to this point leaves little room for optimism, even though our lives and those of future generations depend on our ability to adopt a more mature set of values.

PHIL PISTER, Executive Secretary, Desert Fishes Council

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