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Endangered Species Act Faces Cuts That Could Endanger Local Wildlife

By John Ostapkovich

Philadelphia (CBS) – The Endangered Species Act may itself be endangered, say its supporters, targeted with death by a thousand cuts.

It's not tough to imagine the objections of a Wyoming rancher to the re-introduction of wolves into the neighborhood, and the push-pull over that program is one of the fault lines of the Endangered Species Act, says Robert Dewey of Defenders of Wildlife, but not the only one.

"There are pending now in Congress over a dozen attacks on either particular endangered species or other provisions that would attack the basic fabric of the act itself."

Reducing funding or easing pesticide restrictions are two examples. Pennsylvania has 45 animals on the endangered list, mostly fish, and 23 more either considered threatened or candidates for listing.
A migratory shore bird called the piping plover (photo) is among the threatened species in New Jersey, where it faces loss or disturbance of habitat.

Dewey says preserving wildlife has broad public support, and hopes people remind Congress of that.

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