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LTTE: A message from Defenders of Wildlife

Graphic illustration depicting a letter on a coffee table that reads "Letter to the Editor" surrounded by a coffee cup, pencil and loose papers.
(Graphic Illustration by Christine Moore-Bonbright | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

As a college student during this pandemic, I, like many of my peers, have had the “best years of my life” uprooted and my future put on hold while decision makers determine when we can resume some sort of normalcy. As a young person born into a climate and extinction crisis, I am unable to ignore drastic global biodiversity loss leading to pandemics under which so many have suffered.

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An estimated 60% of emerging pathogens are zoonotic, meaning they result from increased interactions between humans and wildlife, which can be a direct impact of biodiversity loss. 

As a leader of Defenders of Wildlife at CSU, I am dedicated to protecting biodiversity through grassroots advocacy with a community of conservation-minded students.

Immediate and expansive action to protect biodiversity is necessary to ensure the health of global ecosystems and to protect the health of everyone at Colorado State University, Coloradans and others around the world. Biodiversity not only influences the health of Colorado by regulating infectious diseases, it is also critical to the healthy ecosystems upon which we all rely for clean water, fertile soil, food and the very air we breathe. As we lose species, ecosystems are at risk of collapse. Immediate action is necessary to prevent diseases like the current pandemic in the future and to ensure the health of Colorado’s citizens. 

The Build Back Better Act is the most robust bill to address the climate and ecological crises. We need a fully funded $3.5 trillion bill to take urgent, meaningful action. According to the Defenders of Wildlife website, the House of Representatives’ version of the act would repeal the oil and gas drilling program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increase fundingfor the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s most effective tool for preventing extinction.” The act would also offer funding for wildlife corridors, implement a Civilian Climate Corps and secure funding for the protection and recovery of at-risk species under the ESA. 

As a leader of Defenders of Wildlife at CSU, I am dedicated to protecting biodiversity through grassroots advocacy with a community of conservation-minded students. We are currently working together to urge legislators to pass the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act and stand up for communities and the future of our planet. 

Please join us by texting “ACTIVIST” to 52886 or emailing me directly at defendersofwildlifeatcsu@gmail.com.

Allyson Lee

Defenders of Wildlife at CSU

Letters may be sent to letters@collegian.com. When submitting letters, please abide by the guidelines listed at collegian.com.

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