The abundance of national parks in the United States is one of the main selling points of the nation’s tourism and brings in millions of visitors a year. Not only do they showcase the natural beauty of the land we reside upon but they are also home to an incredible amount of diverse wildlife and intricate ecosystems. Announced Wednesday, March 6, U.S. wildlife officials plan to repeal protections of gray wolves in the continental United States, as they have been seen as a nuisance to farmers. The protections had been previously established to counter the near extermination of the species throughout the 20th century, but have since recovered. However, the controversy lies in the fact that the species that once roamed the 48 states had been cut down to a grim 1,000 wolves in the 20th century and rebounded their numbers to 5,000, which represents only a fraction of the population of wolves that had originally been native to the land.

The argument against the protections for the wolves prioritizes the effect animals have on humans over the animals themselves. Gray wolves had their protections removed when they recovered just 15 percent of their original population due to the fact that they impact the farmers and were labeled as pests. The idea that humans are the only species that matters has become so blatant in our current president’s administration.

Time after time, and repeal after repeal, Donald Trump has shown his disdain for any law that might negatively impact humans while positively impacting the ecosystem or our wildlife. The administration has pulled from climate change protection acts and advocated for many repeals against the conservation of animals, including efforts to protect trophy hunting. Members of the Trump family have previously taken part in game hunting and shown off their killings of exotic animals.

The four years of this administration will be detrimental to our wildlife and our ecosystem, and at a time when we have no room for any more mistakes, American citizens cannot sit by silently and watch these protections be taken away from our land and animals. The government should be an advocate for these things that cannot be an advocate for themselves, rather than taking advantage of land that has already been used and abused by humans for so many years.

We are facing the last decade in which we can make enough of an impact so that we don’t completely ruin our Earth for generations to come. Yet we are wasting our time, not only by being silent bystanders but also repealing any efforts we could have made to help the cause of fighting climate change. We are guaranteeing a worse world for the future. The disrespect for the beautiful land of the United States is something that should not be taken with a grain of salt. It is evident that money and a general sense of greed are more important than the land and animals that came before us, and the Trump administration must take responsibility for the impact they have caused and continue to cause upon our land.