The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon make a final decision on whether or not to remove the West Virginia northern flying squirrel from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The squirrel continues to be rare just as it was in 1985. It will be robbed of protection without convincing statistics on population trends.
Many West Virginians may consider this “much ado about nothing.” However, squirrel is a “signature,, species of the boreal forests in our higher mountains that is a unique ecological community that has been called “a bit of Canada gone astray”! The boreal community in the Alleghenies will doubtless be changed and perhaps disappear in the future from global warming. An even more uncertain future may await the squirrel without protection as it faces the forces of timbering, road building and development of many kinds.
Long ago humankind was instructed by our Creator to treat the earth gently and care for our fellow creatures. Tragically, the dark side of humanity