Distinguished conservation ecologist testifies how strong enforcement of conservation laws, sound science, and responsible stewardship can prevent extinctions.
Responsible hunters, fishermen and sportsmen are sound stewards of our natural resources and we should not overlook that.
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) June 21, 2012 - Dr. Stuart Pimm, distinguished conservation ecologist and President of SavingSpecies, yesterday testified in a hearing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. The hearing discussed population biology, environmental laws and policies, and the roles that responsible hunters and sportsmen can play in conservation.
Dr. Pimm said, "Good conservation takes good laws and good enforcement of laws - but it also takes good stewardship: responsible hunters, fishermen and sportsmen are sound stewards of our natural resources and we should not overlook that." Pimm believes that, if properly managed, hunting has a role in conservation. "Hunting is a part of conservation, as long as it is regulated with proper enforcement and as long as it conforms to sound ecological principles," he said.
Dr. Pimm also defended the Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of America's bedrock environmental laws and among its most effective. Although some criticize the ESA as burdensome, Pimm noted how it has helped many species to recover.
According to Pimm, the ESA has been remarkably successful. He mentioned how the listing of a species by the Act puts it on the path to recovery. "Once a species is listed by the Act its chance of survival is excellent. Our national bird, the bald eagle, is now in every state. Endangered species protection has brought the Hawai'i state bird, the whooping crane, the black-footed ferret, grey whales, and many other species back from the very brink of extinction," said Pimm.
Dr. Pimm also noted, "The ESA and its processes ensure that species are properly protected and conserved through sound science and public decision-making. The Act only impedes what is ineffective or harmful."
Dr. Pimm has previously conducted science and policy briefings for members of congress and their staffs. This is the fourth time he has been invited to provide expert testimony before Congress.