The bad news in this case has to do with the tinkering of the Endangered Species Act by a certain unpopular president (do I have to sully this blog with his name?). You know who I’m talking about. Well this is what he’s gone and done: propose said Act be overhauled to let federal agencies, not independent scientific review, determine if protected species are put at risk by “government projects.” That’s right. As Bob Irvin, of Defenders of Wildlife, put it, “Clearly, that’s a case of asking the fox to guard the chicken coop.”
From the Washington Post:
The new rules, which will be subject to a 30-day per comment period, would use administrative powers to make broad changes in the law that Congress has resisted for years. Under current law, agencies must subject any plans that potentially affect endangered animals and plants to an independent review by the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. Under the proposed new rules, dam and highway construction and other federal projects could proceed without delay if the agency in charge decides they would not harm vulnerable species.
Okay, so there is some good news here.
You can give the administration a piece of your mind! Don’t let the current administration mess with the Endangered Species Act. Sign this letter to your representatives. (It’s easy, just click the link and fill in your info. Defenders of Wildlife will do the rest.)