If you are looking for a reason to celebrate, here's one -- the Endangered Species Act turns 40 this year! No other law has done more to save America's most vulnerable plants and animals from extinction. And no other law has done more to inspire the same course of action around the world. Here in the Washington state, we can thank the Endangered Species Act for putting a long list of species on the road toward recovery, including the Grizzly bear, the woodland caribou and, perhaps the most iconic species of any area in the world, the Chinook salmon.
Sure, it's not all charismatic mega-fauna. The Endangered Species Act also protects such species as the Mardon skipper, a small orange butterfly. While there may be nothing fabulous about the Mardon skipper itself, it is our best indicator of health for a rapidly disappearing grassland habitat that is unique to the northwest.
Ultimately, it is the flora and fauna, the mountains and the waters, that make the northwest great. The Endangered Species Act is an American success story we can all be proud of.