Campus activists will raise awareness about endangered species today, with a little Halloween spirit.In conjunction with Halloween and the following All Saints Day, the Washington Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG) declared today “All Species Day.” The political education and activism group is trying to increase awareness of endangered species and the loss of their habitats. Representatives from WashPIRG will be on the HUB lawn today collecting signatures, handing out fliers and dressing up like endangered animals. Today's environmental event is in conjunction with similar events on 60 other campuses across the country.According to Katie Baydo, WashPIRG campus organizer, the purpose of All Species Day is to educate the campus about the re-authorizing of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “This could have dramatic effects,” Baydo said. “As many as 50,000 species go extinct each year. Everything from big brown bears to tiny microbes.”Congress must re-authorize the ESA in order for it to stay in effect. Both the House and the Senate have versions of an Endangered Species Recovery Act on the table that would modify the present ESA. WashPIRG will be supporting the House version, which would strengthen the current ESA to promote recovery of endangered species instead of simply stopping extinction.WashPIRG will be opposing the Senate version, which would give industry alone the power to design habitats without public input. This corresponds with WashPIRG's stance against “wise-use” versions of environmental laws.The Senate will be out of session after next Friday. If there is no vote before then on this issue, it will be delayed until next spring.
October 31, 1997