Working for the environment has a sense of urgency to it. Last week I wrote a complaint for a species that hasn’t been seen alive in nearly a decade. Most of my species are very close to extinction, have vanished from most of their historic ranges, and are unlikely to recover without immediate and intensive action on the part of the government.
Which is why it can be very frustrating to file a complaint, and then wait sixty days for the government to respond. Then, of course, there is more waiting while we answer the response, motions are filed, etc.
All the while the species is degenerating, losing what little chance it had to be saved. Yet I have to fit my filings into my practice and my life, have to schedule savings these endangered species in between dental appointments and back to school nights.
Sometimes I feel as though I could lock myself in a room and do nothing but file complaints on behalf of vanishing species. Sometimes I wonder if my work has any positive effect, or if it’s too late after all. Most of the time I try to manage the sense of urgency that comes with my work, reminding myself that I have a life too and that this is my job, not my life.
Still, it’s mighty nerve-wracking to wait.
Here is the press release from last month’s case.