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Biodiversity: Fund State Wildlife Action Plan




Re: “Hundreds of WA plants, animals at risk of extinction” [Feb. 26, Local News]:

As board chair of Audubon Washington, I am deeply concerned about the status of plant and animal life in the state. A recent article painted a worrying picture — four ecosystems in Washington will be at high risk of collapse without intervention. State leaders must intervene.

Unfortunately, Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget did not fund the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s biodiversity request. But it’s not too late. State legislators have the opportunity to fund WDFW’s implementation of the State Wildlife Action Plan, a comprehensive road map for biodiversity protection.

From songbirds to pronghorn antelope, Washington is home to wonderful wildlife that enriches our lives in countless ways. But their populations are under threat from habitat loss, climate change and other environmental pressures. Without action, we risk losing these unique and valuable species forever.

The conservation actions in the State Wildlife Action Plan will improve and connect habitats, recover at-risk species, and provide access to recreational and educational opportunities. We cannot afford to wait for the next state budget cycle. Legislators in Olympia must step up and take action to protect our wildlife and their habitats.

Catherine Conolly, Seattle

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