Forty years ago President Richard Nixon did something really smart: He signed the Endangered Species Act into law, and here in the northwest, we've reaped the benefits.
Plants and animals have not only been spared extinction, they've been put on the path toward recovery. In the northwest they include the bald eagle, the Columbian white-tailed deer and a tiny little minnow called the Oregon chub.
By any measure the Endangered Species Act has been a success, and as we celebrate its 40th anniversary, it's worth pausing to give thanks.
Unfortunately some in Congress who value profits over protections don't see it that way. So if the act is going to be successful for another 40 years, we'll need to be vigilant to make sure it stays strong as ever.