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Endangered Species Act Turns 50; Audubon Society, USPS Celebrate with Friday Events

Super-environmentalist President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act in 1973. To celebrate 50 years of the Endangered Species Act’s spectacular success at preserving biodiversity and habitat, the Prairie Hills Audubon Society is hosting its 16th annual Endangered Species Day Celebration this evening online:

6:00 p.m. – Introduction by Sponsors

6:10 p.m. – 7:20 p.m. – Speaker: Amity A Bass, Field Supervisor, North and South Dakota Ecological Services, US Fish and Wildlife Service – She will speak on SD’s federally listed species with updates on changes to their status, populations and/or habitats in the last few years and also about the 12 month findings (decisions to list – or not) to be decided in next few years.

7:20 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Speakers: Ellen Whittle, Bat Project Manager for the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database (WYNDD), University of Wyoming and Renee Lile, PhD Student in the Program of Ecology, University of Wyoming – These two speakers will report on their research on our local northern long eared bats in the Black Hills/Bear Lodge.

8:30-9:00 p.m. – Powerpoint by Eileen Dowd Stukel, Senior Wildlife Diversity Biologist, SD Game, Fish and Parks – Eileen can’t come but she will provide a powerpoint on: our SD state listed species with updates on the down listing of the peregrine falcon in 2022, on SD GFP’s Wildlife Action Plan Revision and also on the progress of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 1149) in the 118th Congress. For more information on RAWA by the NWF: [Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Endangered Species Day Celebration 2023, retrieved 2023.05.19].

Details for joining this event on Zoom are posted on the PHAS event webpage and the PHAS event FB page.

The United States Postal Service is also celebrating the Endangered Species Act with in-person festivities at the National Grasslands Visitor Center in Wall this morning at 11:00 Mountain. The Postal Service will issue 20 new Forever stamps at the event featuring endangered species protected by this good environmental law.

United States Postal Service, Endangered Species stamps, first issue 2023.05.19.
United States Postal Service, Endangered Species stamps, first issue 2023.05.19.
  • Top row: Laysan teal, black-footed ferret, Roanoke logperch, thick-billed parrot.
  • Second row: candy darter, Florida panther, masked bobwhite quail, Key Largo cotton mouse.
  • Third row: Lower Keys marsh rabbit, Wyoming toad, Vancouver Island marmot, golden-cheeked warbler.
  • Fourth row: Guam Micronesian kingfisher, San Francisco garter snake, Mexican grey wolf, Attwater’s prairie chicken.
  • Bottom row: Nashville crayfish, piping plover, desert bighorn sheep, Mississippi sandhill crane.

Dignitaries participating in the Wall program include USPS VP of government relations and public policy Peter Pastre, US Fish and Wildlife Service director Martha Williams, and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, a Nebraskan who has made documenting endangered species and habitats his mission. Sartore’s Photo Ark images appear on the new stamps.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-05-19 07:51

    See why the first lines of political defense are county commissions and why environmental lawyers are essential to democracy? The US Environmental Protection Agency gets involved when the process breaks down. The US Fish and Wildlife Service enforces critical habitat and Democrats care more about this stuff than the redstaters do. I’m a single-issue voter. Earth first. See how simple?

    This is a weak spot in the Republican agenda and if enough people believe preservation is a bankable position the South Dakota Democratic Party needs to exploit it by fielding candidates who can convince voters to reject politicians like John Thune, Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds and Dusty Johnson who work for the grazing, mining and logging profiteers at the expense of public lands.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-05-19 08:22

    But at least a hundred scientists believe the Service isn’t doing enough to crack down on red states that flout or simply ignore protections for vulnerable species.

    In my home state of South Dakota over a hundred native species are at risk to the Republican Party including the endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, black footed ferret, northern long-eared bat, the black-backed woodpecker that feeds on bark beetles and a bird that actually walks underwater – the American dipper, just to name a few.

    In 2020 with the Endangered Species Act nearing extinction while still in the clutches of the Trump Organization the USFWS submitted a recovery plan for the Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) nearing extirpation from the tributaries of the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux Rivers, some of the most polluted waterways in the United States but to zero consequence.

  3. Mark Anderson 2023-05-19 10:29

    Cory, you deserve a stamp for South Dakota Democrat. I’d use it always.

  4. John 2023-05-19 12:43

    I hope it’s recorded so I may view and listen to it when I have a better internet connection.
    If anyone knows – kindly post the link to the recording. Thanks in advance.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-05-19 14:18

    Recall that during a field hearing in Rapid City back in 2016 South Dakota’s Republican junior US Senator Mike Rounds said, “I agree with the goals of the Endangered Species Act but I am concerned with the low success rate” so he wants to end the ESA.

    Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) is the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and in part because of WNS the US Fish and Wildlife Service extended Endangered Species Act protection in 2016 for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) despite protestations from Republicans.

    Then in 2018 WNS was detected in a western smallfooted bat (Myotis ciliolabrum) at Badlands National Park in occupied South Dakota. Wind Cave National Park is home to nine species of bats, including the threatened northern long-eared bat. The infection was detected there in 2021 and Wyoming Game and Fish discovered it at Devils Tower National Monument that same year.

    In January of this year the US Fish and Wildlife Service extended the date to the end of March for reclassification of the northern long-eared bat from threatened to endangered.

    But Republicans don’t care.

    Insects coated with industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals in water supplies are weakening immune systems spreading WNS to bats as part of Earth’s anthropogenic-driven sixth mass extinction. Last year Colorado officials found Pd in Baca, Larimer and Routt Counties now the National Park Service has detected the disease in a Yuma bat (Yuma myotis) near La Junta.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-19 17:08

    With effort, funding and focus, endangered species can be brought back. Twenty five years ago, the Trumpeter Swan was only found in small flocks in the area of Yellowstone National Park. There was a separate flock, with different DNA, subtle differences, in Alaska. Now, Trumpeters are found in over 30 states. They are off the endangered list. Of course, in South Dakota and Arkansas, there is a movement to legalize a hunting season on this, the largest, in weight, (the California Condor alone has a larger wing span,) bird in North America. Look for them nesting on islands in small remote ponds and lakes, throughout South Dakota.

  7. Mark Anderson 2023-05-19 18:44

    Larry Kurtz, Republican’s don’t care if trans kids commit suicide, why bother about a bat? If you could make it so they could get more votes by being for ESA your in with Flynn.

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