Four NW congressmen, spurred by loud and uninformed special interest groups, are demanding the right to kill sea lions in the Columbia river, in direct violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). H.R. 6241, if passed, would allow up to 80 sea lions to be needlessly slaughtered each year, would begin the slide away from protections of marine mammal species, and would be exempt from any environmental reviews normally required under the National Environmental Policy Act. The killing could start as early as this spring. They say they are doing it to save the salmon. This is wrong. Just wrong.
Once, hundreds of thousands of sea lions swirled gracefully through the waters of the Pacific coast and even into the Columbia river, often following the thunderous runs upstream as the salmon joyously returned to their ancient source. Then, humans hunted the sea lions almost to extinction. Almost too late, the Marine Mammal Protection Act ended the bloodletting in the 1970s. And now, miraculously, now they are beginning to return to the shores of the oceans and the river. Yes. And now, we must choose whether to celebrate their return and welcome them back to their ancestral home, or to allow a nasty, territorial, aggressive little minority of the meanest sort of humans to blame and scapegoat them back into oblivion. We must choose whether to understand and respect the ancient rhythm of life in this land of ours, or to bludgeon it into something easier for us to comprehend but harder for us to live with. And we must choose whether to address what is really happening to the salmon, or to allow the power and agricultural industries to blame the sea lions while the last drop of water is sucked from the veins of Cascadia.
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related: [ SAVE the SEA LIONS NOW!!! | Sea Lions at Risk | Save The Salmon - Kill An Eagle! ]