Turtle Island needs turtles In former environmental reporter Mitch Tobin’s debut nonfiction book, Endangered: Biodiversity on the Brink (released by Fulcrum Publishing), the author pulls the Endangered Species Act out of the political catfight that often impedes its enforcement and sheds light on the act’s intricacies, using science and a keen human element as his great illuminators.
“For nearly four decades,” Tobin writes, “the ESA has shaped our nation’s entire approach to managing natural resources and become an arena in which core conflicts play out: How should we balance the needs of humans and nature?” Examining the erosion of species security in the U.S. through the lens of global-warming awareness, Tobin drafts a blueprint for the bleak future of already at-risk animal and plant populations while describing in plain English how the situation continues to worsen.
His engaging portraits of the movers and shakers on both ends of the political spectrum reveal some surprising results in the biodiversity blame game, with liberal environmentalists, illegal immigrants, and drug smugglers sharing equal responsibility with ranchers and conservative policymakers for the country’s ongoing ecological crisis.
While the mainstream media has directed a majority of the public’s interest in environmental issues toward the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (where endangered species such as the sea turtle are now at even greater risk of being lost forever), Tobin — with meticulously researched reportage and a hands-on approach — reminds readers that the American Southwest is the real ground zero in the ongoing battle to better manage and protect the nation’s precious wildlife. Join Tobin for the Santa Fe launch of his book at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at Garcia Street Books, 376 Garcia St., 986-0151.