Have we learned nothing?

It is very painful to read the two side-by-side articles in the June 13 Tidings, “US cancels new protection for endangered whales” and “Bears Ears could set precedent.”

Over the past hundred years we have learned how completely dependent we are on the complex ecosystems that support life on this planet. Now in just a few short months, one supremely ignorant and venal man is using his power to hasten the collapse of the ocean web of life and speed up the abuse of our precious public lands. It is incomprehensible to me that the richest country on earth has sunk to this craven level of greed and exploitation.

It is also clear to many of us that the survival of “endangered fin, humpback and sperm whales, short-fin pilot whales and common dolphins, as well as endangered leatherback sea turtles, olive-ridley sea turtles and green sea turtles” is far more important for our future than continuing the mile-long drift net fishing off our coast for two current seasons. Give the swordfish a break, allow them to reproduce in peace for two seasons. Remember the collapse of the North Atlantic cod industry from over-fishing? Have we learned nothing?

We Americans have all benefited from our superb national monuments, and species survival will depend more and more on these refuges where nature has a chance to carry on. After fighting so hard for our national monuments and marine reserves, we can’t let them go.

Bonnie Johnson

Ashland