Looking back at my previous blogs one might think I'm one of those “pro-government-take-over-all-things-capitalism” types. I'm actually quite the entrepreneurial spirit and plan to be touching on that topic soon. But I felt with my previous writings that it was worth putting some perspective on the benefits our government does provide. The things we take for granted far too often. Once again, this blog carries that message forward. The Bald Eagle, just one more “good job” for the US Government.
When I was in grade school the Bald Eagle was classified as an endangered species. So to a little kid, it was something of a mystic creature. I never expected I'd see one outside of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Even seeing one during trips to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo seemed a bit surreal, perhaps it was the captivity that left me feeling it was still a very fragile species.
Needless to say, hearing there was a nesting pair within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park was rather exciting. But seeing one of the birds fly above my car at tree level height was both unexpected and awe inspiring. This was my second sighting in the past 6 months. Pictured above is one of the “local” Bald Eagles photographed by J.J. Prekop, Jr., a volunteer photographer of the Summit County Metro Parks.
Having this encounter led me to think, once again, about our government. I never thought I'd see a Bald Eagle in nature without traveling to the Pacific NW where they are more prominently found. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service there were just 487 breeding pairs across the lower 48 states in 1963. In 1975, only 4 pairs were identified in Ohio. Today there are more than 10,000 breeding pairs with roughly 200 of them here in Ohio. In 2007 it was removed from the endangered species list.
Think about that for a moment. As a result of government regulations and limitation on our “freedoms” we managed to save the very bird that represents Freedom. Rather than becoming nothing more than a relic in a book, the Bald Eagle is now off the endangered species list because limitations were put in place to protect it. The government banned the use of DDT, made it illegal to hunt or trap them, put protections in place to preserve their habitats, and through regulations, improved water qualities to restore their source of food. I'm thrilled these regulations were put in place because I've been able to see one of the most majestic birds on the planet freely fly over my head.
Today I hear people refer to scientists as “stupid” for their beliefs on global warming. I hear people argue about the clean air act and other restrictions enforced by the EPA. I hear other heated arguments fighting government regulations. Once again most of these arguments are aimed at somehow preserving profits. Often times the people fighting this cause are standing by the word “Freedom” as part of their battle cry. In some cases the Bald Eagle is even a part of their message. I wonder if they ever connect the dots between their freedom and the preservation of that awesome bird?
Side note: Do be sure to connect with our local Metro Parks, they are a treasure among treasures. http://www.summitmetroparks.org and http://www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm.
Copyright © 2012 Scott Karlo; available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.
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