Environment | Wood storks’ revival cause for optimism, celebration

12/30/2012 12:00 AM

12/28/2012 5:15 PM

Wood storks’ revival cause for optimism, celebration

There is great news in the United States natural world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is lowering the endangered status of the only nesting stork, the wood stork, in the United States this month.

“What the heck does this have to do with me,” you ask. Read on.

Two decades ago the wood stork was classified as endangered and has been protected to this date and still is, but it has recovered substantially. It is no longer threatened by species extinction. Score one for the USFWS and the United States population.

This was not an overnight success but rather two decades of intense effort with protection, research, and preservation. Today we may salute our federal government’s success and know that our United States specie will not go the way of the Carolina Parakeet and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Every time we have a preservation success, save another animal, or protect an endangered species we say something about ourselves, where we are headed as a nation. We do care about wild and domesticated animals and the people in our environment. We care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and we cry with the needless and senseless deaths of children and adults.

Achievements, successes and preservation do not come without effort and most successes do not have short-term solutions, rather they are long term and have lasting results. Saving the wood stork marks another success for the USFWS.

This announcement was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 26, and constitutes the service's 12-month warranted finding on a petition to reclassify the wood stork, which was submitted by the Pacific Legal Foundation and Biological Research Associates, on behalf of the Florida Home Builders Association.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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