Running up the score for the Monarch Butterfly
Late last night, just before the deadline, I submitted over 44,000 letters from Environmental Action members supporting the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) petition to list the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. It was one of 628 online submissions, many of them just in the last few days. You can see all the comments here or search for ours using the Tracking Number: 1jz-8hi4-pwbk.
It’s safe to say that in the contest for public opinion, Environmental Action knows how to run up the score. But this isn’t the end of our fight to save the monarchs, it’s only the beginning.
Over the next few weeks, FWS will consider all of our letters, as well as the comments of scientists and researchers, farmers and businesses, Monsanto and the chemical industry. They’ve already demonstrated their willingness to take the monarch decline seriously. But so far, they’ve also gone out of their way NOT to address the real culprit – namely the spraying of Roundup and other herbicides that decimate the milkweed monarch’s need to eat during their migration.
That’s why we can’t stop now, and we wont stop until Monarch’s, milkweed and all endangered species are protected. To get a sense of how serious we are about continuing this fight, scroll down to check out the conversation I recently had with our outreach team in Portland: they’ll be calling thousands of Environmental Action supporters and citizens over the next few weeks to educate them about the Monarch, Monsanto, and enlist more support. You can keep these folks calling (and support all our outreach work on Monarchs) by donating here.
Today, we can celebrate the close of a comment period where we out-voiced our opposition. But we can’t rest yet. Our opponents have big ad budgets, big lobbying firms, and big voices that echo loudly in the halls of our government. And while we’ll never match them in money or slick-suited lobbyists — I’m confident we can win because there are simply too many of us to ignore. When we act together, as we did last night, we can overwhelm the opposition. Together, we proved that the plurality of people care more about the only planet we’ll ever call home than they do about corporate profits or chemical convenience.
This is a well earned half time in the fight to save a species from extinction. And if we fail, well, extinction is forever. Stay tuned for more opportunities to take action for the monarch, and all endangered species.