Target: Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Commissioner R. Bruce Scott
Goal: Stop construction of prison over 700 acres of habitat for an endangered bat species.
Seven hundred acres of the natural habitat for two species of endangered bats could be destroyed in order to build yet another prison. The endangered bats are protected under federal law, and the area also contains several animal species that are protected by the state of Kentucky. It makes absolutely no sense to spend half a billion dollars of taxpayer money to pave over critical habitat.
The United States has enough prisons. In fact, the country has one of the highest prison populations in the world–one that keeps on growing–due to unhelpful and draconian sentencing practices against non-violent drug users and other minor offenders. Our prisons do nothing but create an atmosphere of abuse and violence and utterly fail to rehabilitate anyone within the system.
We need prison reform and drug laws that focus on addiction treatment so that our prison population can be reduced. We do not need more huge prisons taking up land needed by essential animal species like bats, which pollinate our crops, spread seeds, and keep the insect population under control.
It’s time to stand up against the obliteration of wildlife for exploitative and unnecessary prisons. Tell the state of Kentucky to work on reforming its justice system instead of sacrificing animals to lock up more people.
Dear Commissioner Scott,
As you may know, the state of Kentucky is planning on building another prison in Letcher County which will require the destruction of around 700 acres of land. This land is also the natural habitat of two federally protected endangered bat species as well as a number of animal species protected by the state.
I can’t understand why you have thus far allowed the plans for this new prison to move forward. As commissioner for environmental protection in your state, you should understand how vital bats are to the environment as a whole and for human survival. Bats are pollinators who also help spread seeds, and they play a huge role in keeping the insect population under control. We cannot allow any further harm to come to our nation’s bats.
At the same time, the last thing any state in the U.S. needs is another prison. We have too many people locked behind bars in this country already. Kentucky needs to focus its resources on reforming its justice system so that it won’t need any new prisons, and it’s your responsibility to make sure our natural resources are protected. We demand that you stand up against the construction of this prison.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service