San Mateo Supes Support Endangered Species Act

Publisher: Bay City News
Reporter: No Byline


In a unanimous vote, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday in support of the Endangered Species Act.

The 33-year-old act "provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened with extinction and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend," according to Supervisor Jerry Hill.

Since it was passed in 1973, the act has worked as a "safety net" helping to protect many species on the brink of extinction, Hill said. "This community has demonstrated time and again its commitment to protecting the environment."

The San Bruno Mountain Park houses several endangered species including, the San Bruno Elfin, Mission Blue, Callippe Silverspot, and Bay Checkerspot butterflies, according to the San Mateo County Web site.

Another threatened species, the San Francisco Tree Lupin Moth, once inhabited San Bruno Mountain Park, but urban development decimated the population, according to the county Web site.

The Endangered Species Act has "done more to preserve the quality of life in San Mateo County," said Brent Plater, staff attorney for the Center of Biological Diversity.

Hill stated that "over 200 species in the Bay Area alone, many of them residing in San Mateo County refuges such as Montara Mountain, Edgewood Preserve, San Bruno Mountain and the wetlands of Rockaway beach and those adjacent to Belle Air Elementary School in San Bruno, are officially designated species of concern."

While many support the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, has spearheaded legislation that looks to modify the act.

Pombo's bill, which was passed by the House in September, would revise various sections of the Endangered Species Act "relating to determinations of endangered or threatened species, recovery plans for such species, and the role of states and private property owners in protecting such species," according to the bill.

"The Endangered Species Act is not perfect, but gutting such a vital protection is not the answer," Hill said. "Protections are working."

Plater said there is other legislation currently in circulation that follows a similar path as Pombo's bill, but that Pombo's is "the most drastic."

"He has an ideological belief that endangered species should not be protected," Plater said.

More information on endangered species in San Mateo County can be found on the Web site,