On day one Pres. Biden announced the temporary halting of oil and gas leasing deals in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to ensure wildlife protection. The area is home to thousands of migratory birds and polar bears currently at risk of endangerment.
CEO and president of Defenders of Wildlife, Jamie Rappaport Clark praised Pres. Biden as he mentioned that the cessation of the oil and gas leasing projects is of utmost importance; not only because it will worsen climate changes, but also because they adversely impact indigenous ways of life and vulnerable species of wildlife.
During Trump’s regime, Republican legislators had raised complaints against the Endangered Species Act (ESA).as it prohibited such projects from making progress whenever civic watchdogs like the Defenders of Wildlife filed lawsuits. .
The legislators opposed the ESA, claiming that it affected logging, mining, and drilling negatively, obstructing the industry from growing in the economy. They proposed easing out some of the restrictions imposed by the act on property owners. Some GOP lawmakers claimed that the law infringes on the rights of owners of agricultural properties, as it limits their options on how to manage and use their lands.
In July 2020, the Defenders of Wildlife called attention to the Trump administration’s roll back of some of the Obama administration’s restrictions on hunting laws. The roll back allowed “barbaric and inhumane” methods of killing wolf pups and bear cubs in Alaska. The purpose of which was to increase game hunt population by driving down the numbers of wildlife carnivores that predate on game animals.
Wildlife Protection and Hunting Laws are of Great Significance in Southwestern States
The Southwest Region consisting of Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico works with various partners and agencies. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) shares information through their website, about the importance of the landscapes and of the various native species, including the endangered animals and plants existing in the Southwest region. Information about the 150 native species of animals and plants protected by the ESA, can also be found at the website.
In addition to the ESA, every Southwestern state has wildlife protection laws to ensure the protection of all animals, including those categorized as nuisance or invasive species.
An example of the invasive species protected by Southwestern state laws are the tree or gray squirrels, of which the largest population dwells in different parts of Texas. Grey squirrels are generally harmless but they can be quite a problem to Texas homeowners, because the creatures often find ways to enter attics where they build their nests.
In solving squirrel invasion problems, Texas residents are allowed to trap them and relocate the squirrels, or hire a professional wild control specialist to do it for them. However, the law requires homeowners and wildlife control technicians to call the local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department so they will have guidance on where to relocate and release the captured grey squirrels.
While it is illegal to shoot squirrels in cities, particularly in residential areas, the grey squirrels are among the animals that can be killed during game hunting season. In order to control the size of grey squirrel overpopulation in Texas, local wildlife managers oversee the hunting activities of game hunters.
Under the state’s hunting laws, a hunter can kill up to a maximum of 10 squirrels per day. Regardless of whether a Texas county imposes a hunting season or not, the ten-squirrel daily limit applies in all counties. Mainly because the grey squirrel species’ inclusion in game hunts, is only for the purpose of controlling the size of the population, not to eradicate the species