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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Threatened animals: saving the pika and sharks

In energy bill, include funding to save pika, other species at risk

The pika is but one of many animals that may become endangered due to changes brought about by global warming [“High-country icon in peril?” page one, Aug. 21]. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall and disrupted snowfall patterns are also impacting the Northwest’s salmon and native birds.

The same issues driving pika to possible extinction are also threatening wildlife in national parks across the country. The National Parks Conservation Association recently issued a report suggesting management strategies to alleviate the stress on animals in parks.

Strategies include protecting critical habitat, developing corridors to allow wildlife access to new habitat as their current ranges become unsuitable and reducing additional stresses from pollution, invasive plants and disease.

We urge Congress to support setting aside modest funding in the energy bill for projects on our public lands that will help animals adapt to climate change. We need to preserve our national park heritage and animals, including the pika, so our children and grandchildren can also enjoy those “brave squeaks.”

— Sean Smith, National Parks Conservation Association policy director, Seattle

Boy’s big catch nothing to celebrate

I was disheartened to read the celebratory tone used in your story and accompanying “Good day, bad day” photographs about the 150-pound sixgill shark caught near Burien [“Boy’s 150-pound fish tale is true,” NWTuesday, Aug. 11].

Celebrating this catch does a huge disservice to the efforts to restore and recover a rapidly declining Puget Sound ecosystem, a nationally significant issue The Times has covered frequently.

It also does a disservice to shark-conservation efforts under way around the globe. Although the shark was released, and The Times included information about the decline of the sixgill shark in Puget Sound, the celebratory tone was unmistakable.

I am saddened to think this article will inspire young boys throughout the region to go shark hunting in hopes of getting a spread in your paper. It will be a very good day when the sixgill shark and other species in decline in Puget Sound are recovered.

But I remain highly skeptical about this outcome if the media remains steeped in outdated and harmful modes of thinking.

— Hilary Culverwell, Bellingham

Comments | More in animals, Climate change, Environment, Parks, water

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