By Bob James [Letter to Editor\
To the editor:
Flagstaff’s state Representative Bob Thorpe has proposed several pieces of legislation to eliminate the Endangered Species Act in Arizona. The Endangered Species Act is probably one of the most successful and widely acclaimed laws ever passed by the federal government. For 40 years, the ESA has helped prevent the extinction of our nation’s wildlife treasures, including the bald eagle and the California condor. Less than 1 percent of the more than 2,000 plants and animals protected by the act have been formerly delisted due to extinction — an astonishing success rate.
Every biologist and naturalist knows the health of an ecosystem is determined by the diversity of its flora and fauna. The health of our planet is determined by its diversity. Yet, Representative Thorpe has tried to gut this act and rid our state of endangered species. This action is nothing but a sly attempt at nullification of federal law. His introduction of legislation that asserts Arizona’s right as a “sovereign” state to nullify federal law in Arizona is a joke and embarrasses his constituents.
Arizona is not now a sovereign state nor has it ever been a sovereign state. States rights died on the battlefields of the Civil War almost 50 years before Arizona became a state. Representative Thorpe should study an American history book or two and join the 21st century.