The Endangered Species Act (ESA) turns 40 this year and I, for one, am glad its around.
No other law has done more to save our most vulnerable plants and animals from extinction. The act has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species placed under its protection.
Here in California, we can thank the Endangered Species Act for putting a long list of species on the road toward recovery, including the California condor, southern sea otter and California least tern.
The act has proven itself to be one of the most effective conservation laws ever passed, but if we want it to be successful for another 40 years, we must be vigilant and defend it against those who would weaken it.