I must be honest. I'm not a bird person. They have scary beaks and ominous talons. They're anything but snuggle-able. It’s personal. It’s me.

Having said that, from afar, I often marvel at the majesty and grace as they soar above, wondering how they are able to fly. Not having a scientific bone in my body, it seems like flight should be an impossibility.

Did you know that not long ago, the bald eagle, one of our national symbols, was close to becoming extinct?

Those majestic creatures, which once flew in our skies in abundance, had dwindled in number to such an extent that the EPA designated the magnificent birds as an endangered species.

In 1973, preserving our environment – flora and fauna – was a bipartisan issue. President Richard Nixon introduced the Endangered Species Act and it passed with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle. Due to that act, not only are our bald eagles thriving, but multitudes of other species have avoided extinction.

Many other glorious species remain on the list. Now, the list itself has joined the endangered ranks, in jeopardy of becoming extinct. But unlike those species on the list, it is not any environment hazard or the voracious appetites of natural predators that has it on the verge. Rather, it is a rash of deregulation of EPA safeguards.

Like the president and many others in Washington, I think there is way too much regulation in our government. Many regulations are just silly and should be eliminated. Others need revision.

But the Endangered Species Act?

Flying under the radar, a legislative package was introduced in July that would accomplish numerous longstanding Republican goals for amending the Endangered Species Act, including making it easier for the government to remove species from the list and preventing non-governmental organizations from suing to try to obtain protection for a species.

I’m sure – like most things “governmental” – this is complicated. Weighing the pluses and minuses of industry versus nature isn’t easy. But, when I heard of this legislative package, I couldn’t help but think of bald eagles.

We had an eagle’s nest high in one of the trees on our property in La Porte. Our children literally hooted with glee when the pair of the magnificent birds swooped and soared above us. They were not bald eagles but still a breathtaking example of the glory and power of nature.

Man has awesome power as well. I hope that the man given power of deregulation doesn’t eliminate God’s given power of His creatures inspiring us.

Wouldn’t it have been tragic if the bald eagle had never been placed on the endangered species list before it was too late to save them? I can only wonder, with regret, about the other glorious species that will find their fate to be extinction if we continue to cut away at the Endangered Species Act.

Wendy J. Levenfeld is a published novelist, playwright and columnist. Send comments to wendylevenfeld@gmail.com. Visit her website at wendylevenfeld.com.

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