One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on the land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise" Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
The Division of Environmental Contaminants within the Ecological Services Program in the Pacific Region has primary responsibility for working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff from the Divisions of Endangered Species, Habitat Conservation, Fisheries, Refuges and Engineering as well as other agencies related to contaminants. Contaminant specialists address a variety of issues aimed at preventing damage to threatened and endangered species, trust resources, and national wildlife refuges. Specific activities involve assisting with reviews of environmental documents such as permits regulated by Clean Water Act, National Pollution Discharge, Section 404, and Rivers and Harbor Act Section 10. Technical assistance is provided on pesticide use, mining, agriculture, irrigation return flows, industrial discharges, forestry practices, range management, urbanization, the use of lawn chemicals, wastewater treatment system discharges, non-point source discharges from livestock feed lots, timber harvests, housing developments, new golf courses, the proper use of chemicals for control of invasive species, crop production for waterfowl, and control of fish diseases at hatcheries. They provide chemical impact statements about sensitive, threatened, and endangered species such as western flycatcher, bull trout, marbled murrelet, spotted owls, various plants, and others. Contaminant specialists also assists the Division of Engineering with the Environmental Compliance Program which provides guidance to wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries for cleaning up oil and other hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead paint in or on buildings, and pesticides. The Service is actively protecting natural resources through its land acquisition program and in determining the environmental condition of property being considered for purchase.