The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the weapons of radical environmentalists,
and is among the most wasteful and most counterproductive laws on the books. It
started out as an innocent-sounding means of protecting plants and animals that were nearing
extinction, but it has turned into a tool for exerting political leverage. Like
so many other laws, this one has had many unintended adverse consequences. The
application of the ESA has apparently resulted in a number of violations of Fourth
Amendment property rights, especially in the western half of the United States. A
quick search of the internet for the topics of private property rights and water usage rights
will reveal a number of battles in rural America between farmers trying to use their land
as they see fit, and various government agencies enforcing the ESA.
The cost of complying with government regulations has become enormous. According to
Professor Thomas Hopkins of the Rochester Institute of Technology, businesses and
private citizens spend more than $600 billion every year complying with government
regulations. Hopkins estimates that environmental regulations make up more than
one quarter of that cost, approximately
Ironically, many of the environmentalists who are really gung-ho about the
ESA are the same people who place more value on the words of Charles Darwin than the
Word of God. One would think they'd be delighted when "survival of the fittest"
is allowed to run its course, and the weak and vulnerable species die out! Instead,
they place their faith and trust in the federal government, hoping to reverse this
natural process at the taxpayers' expense.
The ESA seeks to solve an open-ended problem that probably can't
be solved anyway, since the forces of nature are far greater than the power of the
most overdeveloped government agency. Plants and animals have always faced
danger… from each other! But the ESA is a problem because it has
been implemented in a way that makes its supporting bureaucracies permanent, and the
cost of enforcing the act are constantly expanding. A 1990 General Accounting
Office report found that more than 80 percent of all listed species were declining
despite protection under the
the Northern spotted owl in 1990 led to tens of thousands of job losses and is
expected to cost the economy $21 billion to
$46 billion.* And
even when actual recovery has occurred, species frequently are not delisted. This
failure to acknowledge success aggravates public frustrations generated by the cost and
For the purpose of this discussion, I think there are two types of
environmentalists: Type 1 environmentalists only care
about gathering political power and tax-sheltered donations They support an ever-expanding
federal government because they feed on politics. Type 2 environmentalists are people
who mean well, and will do whatever they can to preserve and protect plants and animals, but they
have been badly misinformed by the Type 1 people. This page is here for the benefit of
the people who get faulty information from the mainstream press, which tends to be sympathetic
to Type 1 environmental activists.
The ESA has the unattainable goal of protecting all species from extinction at
any cost.* But
it just can't be done. The forces of nature are far more powerful than anything the
government can do for a mere $600 billion a year. The ESA is not just an
inconvenience, it is a means of bypassing the democratic process to grab and exert
Moreover, the ESA is utterly futile: In order to prove that a species is extinct (or even
endangered), you must be able to prove that you know the location of every specimen of that species.
In addition, the furor over endangered species fails to weigh the value of a kangaroo rat (for example)
against the value of a human life and that human's job.
In the United States, according to the U.S. government, there are 69 species of endangered mammals,
75 species of endangered birds, 304 species of other animals, and 598 species of endangered plants.
Some environmentalists say that
"tens of thousands of species disappear every year." But such a statement is absurd, and
the people who make such claims are evidently hoping that nobody will test their claims against
Overview: Endangered Species Act Doesn't Save Species. Since 1973, more than 2,470 species
of plants and animals have been listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Billions of dollars have been spent by federal,
state, local governments, and private individuals to help those species recover. People have been forbidden to build homes or businesses on their own land,
told they must stop farming or logging, and road and hospital construction has been halted or delayed. Yet for all this effort, just 78 species have
been removed from the Endangered Species List — just 3.1 percent of all species ever listed. Further, a majority of the species removed from the list
were taken off because they had been initially improperly placed on it due to data errors (18 species); were foreign species given no protection by the ESA
(22); were recovered due to other laws or regulations, such as the banning of DDT (13); or, worst of all, delisted because they became extinct while on the list
or were already extinct at the time they were listed (10 species). In more than 44 years of existence, at best, ESA is responsible for
helping 13 species to recover — though it's questionable whether the recovery of those 13 species, mostly plants, is actually due to the
ESA, since they existed almost entirely on federal land and were thus already protected.
Species: Report Says Bengal Tigers in Nepal Have Killed 62 Humans in Last 3 Years. A report published in
the Kathmandu Post and cited by The Guardian says that the recovering Bengal tiger population in Nepal has killed 62 human
beings in the last three years. "Over the last three years there have been 104 tiger attacks inside protected areas and
62 people have been killed, according to the Kathmandu Post," the Guardian reported today. The Guardian story carried
this headline: "Nepal's tiger numbers recover but attacks on people cause alarm." The subhead of the article
said: "Nepalese population of Bengal tigers has nearly tripled in 12 years and conflict with humans is increasing."
conservation bill from '19 could be to blame for increased shark presence. Great whites and other sharks have
been coming close to Long Island beaches this year to feast on a particular kind of bait fish that has been flourishing in
New York waters ever since the state legislature voted unanimously to preserve it three years ago. With the population
of Atlantic menhaden booming, sharks are swimming into shore like tourists bellying up to a buffet, and in the process, they
are coming close to bathers — with disastrous results, experts told The [New York] Post. "The reason why
people are interacting with sharks more often this year and more than last year is because of conservation efforts over the
years [that] has protected a food source known as the Atlantic menhaden," Frank Quevedo, executive director of the South Fork
Natural History Museum Shark Research and Education Program, told The Post.
are the party of fear because that is all they have. The public, especially the children, are continually told
that thousands of species are dying each year because human activities, fossil fuels, CO2, and other things cause climate
change. What we never see is a list of species that are going extinct is because the numbers are made up, essentially
pulled from a hat. ["]One-third of all plant and animal species could be extinct in 50 years, study
warns["] The facts are easy to find. Less than 1,000 identified species have gone extinct in the past
500 years, less than two per year. Those certainly cannot be attributed to oil use or anything else. The reason
the media and others don't report the truth is that the public wouldn't be scared enough to destroy the fossil fuel industry and
support the disastrous, inefficient green agenda.
SoCal, the comrades target the taps of 'water wasters' for restrictions. In drought-plagued Southern
California, the comrades have ways of making you obey. Fresh after nixing a new plan for a desalination plant to
provide water to residents during these water-lean times, they'd rather target individual water-wasters at residences.
They're putting "flow restrictors" on residential taps to stomp out "water-wasters," same way Stalin's men worked to stomp
out wreckers and hoarders. Apparently, paying higher bills for excess water use is simply not enough. Coercion is better.
The Editor says...
Perhaps California would have plenty of water if they'd stop releasing fresh water into the ocean for the benefit of the Delta Smelt.
(Very few people have ever seen a Delta Smelt and most of them probably wouldn't care to see another one.)
Providing water isn't the Left's primary concern. Their primary concern is control.
Court Declares Bees Are Actually Fish. A California appeals court ruled Tuesday that bees can be classified as
fish under the state's Endangered Species Act (CESA) in a blow to agriculture groups. The Sacramento-based three-judge
panel ruled that four species of bumble bees found across California are technically fish since they are invertebrates,
according to the decision in a case concerning the species' protected status that pitted the state government against
agriculture groups. The court added that the term fish shouldn't be confined to "aquatic" invertebrates under the CESA.
"We acknowledge the scope of the definition is ambiguous but also recognize we are not interpreting the definition on a blank
slate," the appellate court's ruling stated. "The legislative history supports the liberal interpretation of the Act (the
lens through which we are required to construe the Act) that the Commission may list any invertebrate as an endangered or
Famine: California diverting water flows into the ocean, depriving rice farmers of necessary irrigation to grow
food. All across California, residents are being told to scrimp and save water because of historic drought
conditions. Meanwhile, state officials are dumping freshwater into the ocean while intentionally depriving rice farmers
of the water they need to grow food. Colusa County in Northern California is the top producer of rice in the Sacramento
Valley. The area generates more than 150,000 acres of rice in a normal year — but as you can probably tell
by now, 2022 is anything but a normal year. Officials there say that only a fraction of the usual rice crop will be
grown there this year, delivering a massive financial blow to rice farmers, workers and suppliers. [...] Meanwhile, 50 percent
of California's water flows right out into the Pacific Ocean, a policy that was enacted for "environmental" purposes to save the
Delta smelt, an "endangered" fish species.
DNA Test Finds Endangered
Species in Cat and Dog Food. Despite declining global shark populations, the important predator's meat is
somehow winding up in cans of cat and dog food, according to a new study published this morning in the journal Frontiers in
Marine Science. Two researchers at the National University of Singapore used DNA testing to determine what kinds of
meat were in 45 pet food products from 16 brands produced in the city-state and found multiple vulnerable or endangered
species in the ingredients list. Many manufacturers list shark meat as "white fish" or "ocean fish" and don't give
consumers details on what their pets are consuming, according to the study.
warn horseshoe crabs could go to extinct because their blood is being used in Covid vaccines and for drug
testing. Horseshoe crabs have been around for 450 million years, surviving mass extinctions and several ice
ages, but conservationists say the creatures could soon go extinct because their bright blue blood is vital to pharmaceutical
companies. The blue blood has immune cells, known as Limulus polyphemus (LAL), which are sensitive to toxic bacteria
and can be used to test vaccines and drugs for dangerous bacterial toxins before products hit the market. The coveted
blood has been used for nearly 20 years and has been vital tool in testing the coronavirus vaccines currently on the market.
Ridiculous 'Green New Deal' Programs in Democrats' Bloated Spending Bill. [#6] $50 Million for Bees and Desert
Fish: The spending package includes a subtitle on wildlife conservation. It provides special attention to a
select handful of creatures, meaning that some animals are more equal than others. Section 70607 would spend $25 million
to conserve species of "desert fish." Section 70605 would similarly dedicate $25 million for "pollinators," or bees.
Incredibly, this is the second earmark for bees this year, with the bipartisan infrastructure bill drizzling $10 million their
way in a package that's supposedly focused on roads and bridges.
dragons are now classified as an endangered species, and climate change is being blamed. The real-life version
of Godzilla, the Komodo dragon, is now an endangered species, and experts believe the species is headed toward
extinction. Recently, the largest lizard in the world had been moved from a vulnerable species to an endangered one on
the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. Last week, a report from the conservation organization
revealed how bad the situation has gotten for the Komodo dragon. Komodo dragons, which can grow up to 10 feet long,
have venomous saliva and can easily take down a water buffalo, They reside only in Indonesia at the Komodo National Park, a
UNESCO World Heritage site, and on a few nearby islands. They are a protected species and rarely come in contact with
people, with only a few documented attacks on humans.
Lesser Prairie Chicken Is the New Canary in the Coal Mine. Environmental activists in the federal government
are wasting no time recovering their Obama-era swagger and aggressively taking ground. On February 1, President Biden
issued Executive Order 14008, which promotes a "whole of government" approach to fighting climate change. Four months
later, we are starting to see what that looks like. From the Treasury Department to the Department of the Interior, the
federal government is pushing a radical agenda to control more of our property and activities. For example, on May 26,
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
That was followed with a June 4 announcement that FWS and NOAA Fisheries will roll back five ESA regulations implemented by
the Trump administration. The Endangered Species Act is a favorite tool for environmental activists in and out of
government. The ESA does not have a great track record of saving animals from threat or extinction. However, it
is really good at filling the coffers of environmental groups through sue and settle schemes.
says it will declare a desert flower an 'endangered species' that could halt a mine necessary for electric vehicle
batteries. The idiotic and expensive plans to force electric vehicles down the throats of drivers has run into
an obstacle created by an law that environmentalists demanded. You can't have electric vehicles without lithium ion
batteries, and you can't build all those car batteries without a supply of lithium, which some warn will be inadequate soon.
[...] Lithium is far from the only problem that makes electruc vehicle conversion plans a total fantasy. Electricity
production would have to vastly increase, and solar or wind just can't provide that kind of power. Burn more
coal? Natural gas? Nuclear power? How about those new factories to build those cars and batteries?
Devils set paw on mainland Australia after 3,000 years. The world's largest surviving marsupial carnivore, the
Tasmanian Devil, has been returned to the wild on Australia's mainland for the first time in 3,000 years. Actor couple
Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky joined conservation groups last month to release 11 of the animals into a wildlife sanctuary
in New South Wales, with more releases to follow.
Victory for Property Rights and Common Sense. Federal wildlife conservation officials are proposing, for the
first time, to amend regulations that define what "habitat" means under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It's a
clarification of law, and the closing of a loophole, that's long overdue. Despite the predictable outcry from
environmental groups, the proposed habitat definition will likely help species conservation. The new definition simply
states that if a species does not or cannot live in a certain area in its current state, it is not habitat. Moreover,
the clarity provided by this new definition should decrease the amount of time and resources that federal agencies spend on
defending (or attempting to avoid) lawsuits brought by activist groups. This new rulemaking is the latest instance of
the Trump administration's commendable efforts to streamline and reform the ESA and other major environmental statutes, such
as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Bureau of Land Management's grazing regulations.
Bee Feared to Be Extinct Is Found in Florida. As soon as the blue calamintha bee arrived on the scene,
scientists worried it might be gone for good. The indigo insect was last spotted in central Florida in 2016, five years
after it was first identified. But this spring, just as Americans began to hunker down because of the COVID-19
pandemic, the rare blue bees, known scientifically as Osmia calaminthae, were rediscovered in the same region foraging
on Ashe's calamint, a dainty violet flower that blooms in certain scrub habitats.
Warnings, Mich. AG Sued to RAISE Lake Level Ahead of Dam Break — to Protect Mussels. In her
ongoing audition to be Joe Biden's veep pick, Michigan Governess Gretchen Whitmer all but convicted a private dam owner for
the disastrous floods that struck the middle of the state last Wednesday [5/20/2020]. However, it wasn't the dam
company that was trying to save a few clams — it was Whitmer's radical attorney general, Dana Nessel. Nessel
was suing the dam company to raise the lake level three feet in order to save mussels — both endangered and
common — and in their response, the dam company cited safety as a reason for not doing so. But to Dana
Nessel, who is also suing to keep Michigan's chilly Upper Peninsula from having a reliable source of propane, citing an
imaginary concern over a pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac, people come second. A distant second.
over endangered species looms over efforts to delist gray wolf. Trying to remove the gray wolf from the
endangered species list has been like prying a pack of the predators off a fat elk carcass: messy, more than a little
risky and with no guarantee of success. With gray wolves thriving since their 1995 reintroduction, a dogfight is
looming as the Fish and Wildlife Service and House lawmakers ramp up their efforts to delist the animals, setting up another
battle over the Endangered Species Act with environmentalists. Reps. Collin C. Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, and
Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, jumped back into the fray last week with legislation to end the gray wolf's endangered species
status in the Lower 48.
Beetle Downgrade. In the very first volume of Federal Fumbles, I wrote about everyone's least favorite
winged insect, the American burying beetle (ABB). Even though the ABB's population has significantly increased over the
years, the bug remained listed on the endangered species list. This resulted in developers purchasing $30,000 in
beetle credits to develop on lands where the beetle may reside. I said it then, and I'll say it again: bugs
should not take priority over people. We should not drive a bug into extinction, but we should acknowledge species
growth. A September 2019 proposal was made to downgrade the beetle from an endangered species to a threatened species
because it no longer meets the definition of an endangered species.
'Functionally Extinct' After Australia Bushfires Destroy 80% Of Their Habitat. As Australia experiences
record-breaking drought and bushfires, koala populations have dwindled along with their habitat, leaving them "functionally
extinct." The chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, Deborah Tabart, estimates that over 1,000 koalas have been
killed from the fires and that 80 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.
deer-like animal thought lost to science photographed for first time in 30 years. A tiny deer-like creature
about the size of a rabbit has been photographed in the wild for the first time in three decades in southern Vietnam,
delighting conservationists who feared the species was extinct. The silver-backed chevrotain, also called the
Vietnamese mouse deer, was last recorded more than 25 years ago when a team of Vietnamese and Russian researchers
obtained a dead chevrotain from a hunter.
Suggests Less "Climate Crisis" Than the Eco-Activists Would Have You Believe. A series of news reports seem to
give evidence that global conditions are getting increasingly better, which should bring climate alarmists, green justice
warriors, and Extinction Rebellion cultists cause to celebrate. To begin with, the American bison (i.e., buffalo) were
on the verge of actual extinction. Now, their herds have increased to the point officials have reintroduced the animal
to an area of the Badlands National Park area. Those will be the first bison in that area in about 150 years. [...]
In 1884, there were 325 bison left in the United States. Now, there are over 500,000.
states sue Trump administration over weakening of Endangered Species Act. A coalition of state Attorneys
General — led by California, Maryland and Massachusetts — are suing the Trump administration over
recent changes made to the way it enforces the Endangered Species Act (ESA). California AG Xavier Becerra (D)
challenged the Trump administration's changes to the way it will protect species under the ESA as a choice "to prioritize
endangering endangered species rather than protecting them."
Day in Liberal Judicial Activism — August 24. 1995 — The citizen-suit provision of the
Endangered Species Act authorizes "any person" to sue for violations of the ESA. Demonstrating why liberal judicial
activists should be an endangered species, Ninth Circuit judge Stephen Reinhardt, joined by two other Jimmy Carter appointees
(Harry Pregerson and William C. Canby, Jr.), rules in Bennett v. Plenert that the so-called "zone of interests
test" that courts have developed (beyond Article III's constitutional requirements) as a prudential limitation on standing
overrides the broad language of the citizen-suit provision. Therefore, the court concludes, "plaintiffs who assert no
interest in preserving endangered species" — in this case, ranch operators and irrigation districts who alleged
that they would be harmed by reservoir levels designed to protect two species of sucker fish — cannot challenge
violations of the ESA.
the Democrats. In 1978, I got a job in the wood products industry at a particleboard factory and began work a
schedule that just became normal to me. [S]even days on, two days off, working nights, weekends, and most holidays. I
wore "save the whales" t-shirts at work. The industry came under attack because of environmental concerns for the spotted
owl. The lumber and wood products industry in the West was decimated over the next 15-20 years. We tried to muster
support from our government, but our efforts fell on deaf ears. Eventually after 22 years, the facility I worked at
closed. The ability to do what we did, which was to recycle sawdust and discarded wood into a usable product, became too
expensive as we had to go further and further away for our raw materials. The logging industry was gone because of
environmentalism and government policies to put animal concerns ahead of humans.
Gray Wolf Livestock Kills are Rising Rapidly in Arizona and New Mexico. Endangered Mexican gray wolves,
reintroduced by the federal government to parts of the Southwestern United States, have killed nearly as many cows and calves
in the first four months of 2019 as they did all of last year, causing an increase in tensions among U.S. wildlife managers,
environmentalists, and rural residents. The federal government reports the wolves killed 88 domestic animals in Arizona
and New Mexico from January through April of this year. If this pace of livestock killings continues, the wolves will
far surpass the nearly 100 livestock kills confirmed in 2018.
The Editor says...
Every time a hundred head of cattle die, the price of hamburger goes up. Nobody depends on wolves for anything.
extinction warning doesn't add up. Anyone watching the BBC's News at Ten on Monday [5/6/2019] would have
been surprised to learn that economic growth poses a dire threat to the future of life on this planet. [...] 'One million
species at risk of imminent extinction according to a major UN report,' intoned the BBC. 'It says the Earth's ecosystems
are being destroyed by the relentless pursuit of economic growth.' So does this mean the Extinction Rebellion protestors
are right? I decided to do some digging to see if one million species really do 'face extinction in the next few
decades', as the BBC put it.
UN Report On Looming Mass Extinctions Exposed in US House Testimony. A new UN report warns that "around 1 million
species already face extinction, many within decades." That allegation was contained within the 1,800-page Intergovernmental
Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) "Summary for Policy Makers," released on May 6. If
"decades" means 30 to 40 years, then the IPBES estimates an extinction rate of about 25,000 to 30,000 species annually.
Not only are there a lot of species in peril, they asserted that "the threat of extinction is also accelerating" and "most of the total
extinction risk to species is estimated to have arisen in the past 40 years." The US House subcommittee on Water, Oceans and
Wildlife convened a hearing on May 22 to review the contents of the report. Majority leader Jared Huffman (D) wasted no time
in his opening remarks to make it clear that this was a politically driven hearing, not one necessarily searching for extinction truth.
The UN's species extinction
fraud. Al Gore wrote (or a ghost writer) in his 2006 book, An Inconvenient Truth, that global warming "is causing
the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 6.5 million years ago". [...]
Extinctions have always been an integral part of the Earth's history and in recent centuries mankind has been the cause of some. We
have encroached on the habitat of some animals. But in fact not a single species has been shown to be either threatened or endangered
by warming of the Earth by man's increasing use of fossil fuels and the carbon dioxide emissions therefrom. The recent alarmist
report, to the contrary, issued by the UN, contains no physical evidence whatever.
The UN's species
extinction fraud. We have encroached on the habitat of some animals. But in fact not a single species has
been shown to be either threatened or endangered by warming of the Earth by man's increasing use of fossil fuels and the
carbon dioxide emissions therefrom. The recent alarmist report, to the contrary, issued by the UN, contains no physical
evidence whatever. It is entirely based on cherry picked sampling data which is then fed into a mathematical equation
primed to yield the absurd alarmist report which a willing media announces in shrieking tones (as usual). These people
know they are lying but are not bothered by it, which is why we get so many horrid politicians.
latest hurdle at Camp fire debris cleanup? Endangered frogs near 800 homes. Environmental concerns,
including fear of harming a sensitive frog species, have forced Camp fire crews to back away from cleaning some properties in
the Paradise area. State officials tasked with debris cleanup say they have been directed not to enter an estimated 800
burned Butte County home sites within 100 feet of a waterway. They've been told to wait for representatives of
several state and federal agencies to reach an agreement on environmental assessment guidelines.
UN report is concerned about 1 million species going extinct, but its solutions are dead wrong. Two stories
from Australia illustrate the problem we have. Certain stygofauna only evolve in one specific place, exist only there,
and do not spread. Therefore, any mine that digs up a few thousand acres will be driving a number of species
extinct. Some insist that a planned mine must prove the impossible, that a uranium mine will not make extinct some bug
or other, a bug we don't know the existence of as yet, cannot test for, but we must prove we won't eradicate it by digging a
hole. If this is our definition of species, and it is the wider one, then we're not in fact damaging biodiversity at all.
Perversion of the Endangered Species Act. Neither President Nixon nor Congress could have predicted what the
ESA has become today. Today, as many of you know, the ESA allows the federal government to lock up large swaths of
federal and private lands — often removing them from any recreational or productive use. This alone should
concern every private citizen, but the perversion of the ESA doesn't end there. Even when a species is successfully
recovered, the federal government often won't, or maybe worse, can't relinquish management of the species. No species
is a better example than the grizzly bear. [...]
insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'. The world's insects are hurtling down the path to extinction,
threatening a "catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems", according to the first global scientific review. More
than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is
eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5%
a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.
Some supposedly extinct animals may still be around. Extinct
Red Wolf DNA Discovered in Pack of Galveston Strays. The red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980, and
while forty or so red wolves were captured, bred in captivity, and reintroduced into the wild in North Carolina in 1990, there
have been mysterious unconfirmed reports of red wolf sightings scattered along the Texas Gulf Coast for decades. Those
sightings were typically dismissed — scientists were certain coyotes were being mistaken for the elusive wolf.
But now there's some evidence indicating that red wolves may actually have a genetic presence along the coast in Texas.
Court Deals Unanimous, Welcome Blow to Administrative State in Frog Case. Unanimity is elusive in today's
America but the Supreme Court achieved it last week. Although the dusky gopher frog is endangered, so are property
rights and accountable governance. Both would have been further jeopardized if the frog's partisans in the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS) had gotten away with designating 1,544 privately owned Louisiana acres as a "critical habitat" for
the three-inch amphibian, which currently lives only in Mississippi and could not live in the Louisiana acres as they are now.
of Endangered Frog May Indicate Strengthening Property Rights. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Tuesday
[11/27/2018] called into question the government's ability to declare a piece of land to be protected habitat for an animal
that doesn't live there. The ruling also indicates landowners' growing ability to challenge government decisions about
their property, an attorney in the case said. In 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the dusky gopher frog
as an endangered species. Agency officials proposed 1,500 acres in St. Tammany Parish as part of its critical
habitat. The frogs don't live there. But the agency said the site met the legal definition of "critical habitat"
because its rare, high-quality breeding ponds and distance from existing frog populations made it essential for the species'
conservation. With some modifications, the agency said, the site could provide a suitable home for the species.
Court Sides with Landowners in Dispute over Frog Habitats. The Supreme Court on Tuesday [11/27/2018] ruled in
favor of Mississippi landowners who were prevented from clearing timber on their land due to state environmental laws
designed to protect the habitat of a certain species of frog that has never been spotted on the land in question. The
unanimous decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, set aside a lower-court ruling that held that the land used to
grow timber by the lumber company Weyerhauser Co. was rightfully declared a "critical habitat" for the endangered dusky
This is where "protected species" will get you. Monkeys
kill elderly woman in Agra. A 58-year-old woman died after being attacked by monkeys when she had gone out of
her house at Thok Mohalla in Agra, two days after an infant was killed by a monkey in the city. [...] Residents took out
marches and held a meeting on Wednesday night, demanding monkeys be excluded from the list of protected species under the
1972 wildlife act. Currently, there are over 25,000 monkeys in the city, according to municipal corporation officials.
Legal Status Threatens Texas Oil and Gas Operations. Texans are once again engaged in a battle to protect both
a tiny reptile — the dunes sagebrush lizard — and the giant Permian Basin oil and gas industry.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has proposed a complete overhaul of an eight-year-old effort to balance lizard conservation and
oil and gas production, in response to a new effort by environmentalists to have the lizard listed as endangered under the
1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA).
San Francisco Critical Habitat for Grizzly Bears? Drive through San Francisco on any given day and you are
likely to see more than a few grizzly bears. No, they will not be soiling sidewalks in the Tenderloin or chasing
high-tech billionaires down Market Street. But they will be flapping in the wind above City Hall and other public
buildings. The grizzly, you see, is California's state animal and adorns its state flag. Yet not a single wild
grizzly has been seen in the state in nearly a hundred years.
climbers campaign to access local cliff closed to protect endangered frogs. Williamson Rock is a sheer granite
wall that rises from chaparral in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Crisscrossed with 300 routes, it has
been a proving ground for Southern California rock climbers since the 1960s. But in a move that outraged many in the
climbing community, the area was closed in 2005 to protect an isolated colony of federally endangered Southern California
mountain yellow-legged frogs from being trampled.
We Must All Sacrifice
for the Environment (But I meant you — not me!) The city [of San Francisco] has banned plastic straws,
grocery bags, and Styrofoam, and even required solar panels on private buildings. If it is on the environmental industry
wish list, San Francisco is leading the way. Even so, when activists there insist on leaving more water in the rivers, to
protect salmon, they mean water from Central Valley farmers — not their own water. State regulators have obliged, and
water restrictions have been imposed on farms to the south for 25 years. Hundreds of billions of gallons of water
previously used for irrigation have been flushed to the ocean every year, rather than sent through the California Aqueduct to
the Central Valley. Nevertheless, salmon remain endangered. So now, the California Water Resources Control Board
proposes further restrictions, this time including water that is part of the municipal supply of San Francisco. Public
hearings are generating lots of angry responses.
to [a] Single Wolf Puts California in [Superior] Courtroom. [Scroll down] The California version of the
federal [ESA] law isn't much different, but it now is being challenged in court over bureaucrats' decision to launch all
their protections on behalf of a single gray wolf, which lives in neighboring Oregon. The CESA designated the gray wolf
as endangered last year, but the California Cattlemen's Association and the California Farm Bureau, pointing out that the
rules forbid them from even "chasing [a] wolf to the border of his or her property," sued the California Fish and Game
Commission, the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands
Center and Cascadia Wildlands.
The Editor says...
The Pacific Legal Foundation asserts that
"The Gray Wolf's listing is illegal because it is based on the presence of a non-native subspecies of wolf."
[Scroll down] The Trump administration is looking to change the regulations surrounding the Endangered Species
Act. Forty-five years after its initial enactment, the law largely serves to throw a wrench in economic development and
to stop property owners from improving their land, even when the benefits to endangered species are small or nonexistent.
The current regulations bar the government from considering the economic trade-offs posed by designating a species as
endangered, for example, and the Fish and Wildlife Service perplexingly grants the same protections to "threatened" species
as to "endangered" ones. In one case the Supreme Court is currently considering, millions of dollars' worth of
improvements are being held up because land is "unoccupied critical habitat" for the endangered dusky gopher frog.
Yes, "unoccupied": The frog doesn't live there, hasn't for decades, and indeed can't — the land is no longer
habitable to it, though there are some "ephemeral ponds," which are one landscape feature the frogs need. Only Congress
can truly rewrite this mess of a statute, but the administration is justified in taking steps to align the regulations with
Court to Take Up Case of Dusky Gopher Frog. The Supreme Court on Monday [1/22/2018] agreed to take up a case
about an isolated Mississippi frog that tests the scope of habitat protections under the Endangered Species Act. The
case pits landowners and property-rights advocates against environmentalists and the federal government. It centers on
a 2012 action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. The frog
has been listed as an endangered species since 2001, when the known adult population was about 100, all from a single pond in
Fires: Government Policies, Not Global Warming. As large swaths of California are yet again on fire,
environmentalist groups, the leftist media, and Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown are quick to blame climate
change. But the burning in California has more to do with misguided and short-sighted environmental regulations than
with weather or climate. [...] The Endangered Species Act has made it nearly impossible for private-property owners to clear
dead brush from their own land because it may destroy habitats of protected species. From 1993 until 2003, residents of
Riverside County were prohibited from removing brush from their properties because such brush had become a habitat for the
endangered kangaroo rat. When a wildfire broke out there in 2003, the dry, dead brush served as kindling as the blaze
destroyed 2,700 homes and killed 27 people. The rat's habitat was also destroyed. So, in what can charitably
be described as a misguided attempt to save the environment from the ravages of human activities, government regulations have
made the fires worse.
Giants and Arrogant Dwarves. [S]ince 2008, during the peak of drought, 1.4 trillion gallons of water have been
dumped into the Pacific. And why? Affluent progressive environmentalists, who don't have to provide their own food,
and who fancy themselves the possessors of ecological and global warming "science," are harming an essential industry and
driving up food and energy costs in order to protect the Delta Smelt, a two-inch bait-fish. There is no scientific
demonstration of how the extinction of the Delta Smelt would harm humans or threaten their existence, any more than the
extinction of 99% of all the species that ever existed has held back the human race. Instead, bad environmental
"science," old nature-love clichés, and a Disneyfied understanding of humanity's relationship to nature are driving
the smartest people in history into doing things an illiterate farmer in 1850 had too much common sense to do.
proposes roll back of endangered species protections. The US administration of President Donald Trump on
Thursday [7/19/2018] proposed sweeping changes to the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act which would roll back protections
for threatened animals, sparking alarm by environmentalists. The 1973 federal law is considered the gold standard for
global environmental protection, and is credited with saving dozens of key species from extinction, including bald eagles,
manatees, humpback whales and American alligators. One proposed change, announced by the Interior and Commerce
Departments, would remove a sentence that aims to separate economic impacts from decisions about animal protection.
Other provisions would vary protections for animals on a case-by-case basis.
Delta Tunnels: An Unnecessary $15 billion, 15-Year Jobs Program. When Jerry Brown was elected for his third term,
he ran with it in 2011 now claiming the tunnels were needed to protect the Delta Smelt, a non-indigenous fish. "To protect smelt
from water pumps, government regulators have flushed 1.4 trillion gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay since 2008," Wall
Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley wrote in 2015. "That would have been enough to sustain 6.4 million Californians for
six years." During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to "open up the water" in drought-stricken California,
acknowledging that the "drought" was political.
man gets prison time for again smuggling endangered songbirds from Vietnam to the U.S.. A previously convicted
bird smuggler from Orange County was sentenced Monday to a year and a half in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle
endangered "good luck" songbirds into Los Angeles from Vietnam. Sony Dong, 56, who was also ordered to pay a $5,500
fine, was taken into custody immediately following the hearing in downtown Los Angeles. U.S. District Judge S. James
Otero said the conditions in which the tiny birds were trafficked — concealed in suitcases or taped to the legs
and ankles of smugglers — were "deplorable."
man catches, kills 6½-foot timber rattlesnake after it swallows squirrel in backyard. Rob Freeman caught
the snake after his wife saw it while playing with their son in the backyard, The State reported. Freeman reportedly
called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before killing the snake, as the species are threatened or endangered in
certain parts of the U.S., according to WKRN. In Tennessee, the snakes are "protected from harvest" and listed as "in
need of management" according to the Tennessee Herpetological Society.
how climate change was going to wipe out all the mountain Pikas? Never mind. The American pika (Ochotona
princeps), a relative of rabbits, occupies rocky environments in the mountains of western Northern America. It has been
widely thought that pikas could not survive extremes of temperature and thus were at risk of running out of space at the tops of
mountains as temperatures rise due to climate change. But is there more to the story?
want to capture Florida whooping cranes and move them to Louisiana. If you have never seen a stately whooping
crane in the wild in Florida, better hurry. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to transplant a bunch of them to
Louisiana. The whoopers — as they're sometimes called — live in a couple of different places in
the state. The flock the federal agency is targeting lives in the Kissimmee Prairie area of Central Florida, around
Leesburg. It numbers only 14, according to the agency. The Kissimmee whoopers are part of a long-term experiment
to spread the 5-foot-tall endangered birds into habitat they occupied decades ago.
foiled again: Answer to what's causing frog populations to decline is just plain embarrassing. You know
the drill because we've seen the same story so many times. Reports come in that scientists have discovered declining
populations of a species of some sort somewhere. Scientists study. For quite some time, they come up with no good
answer. Concern grows. For maximum publicity and popular hand-wringing, it helps to be cuddly, cute, exotic,
beautiful, or funny critters. But even if they are repulsive, sooner or later, global warming is blamed.
Conclusion: We're doomed!
Targets 1973 Endangered Species Act for Improvement. Saying the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) is expensive,
has failed to protect species, and has been hijacked by special-interest groups, Republican Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and
Dean Heller (NV) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced companion bills to revise it for the first time in more
than 25 years. Both Senate Bill 935 and its companion bill — House Resolution 2134, the Endangered
Species Management Self-Determination Act — note the ESA has failed to achieve its stated goal of recovering endangered
or threatened species. Since 1973, less than 1 percent of the total number of species listed as endangered or threatened
in the United States have been removed from the list. Just 47 out of 1,652 listed species in the United States have been
removed from the endangered or threatened lists because of recovery.
butterfly effect: Trump's border wall could be blocked because it threatens endangered insects. A tiny
endangered butterfly could stop President Donald Trump from building his beloved border wall. A lawsuit has been filed
by the Center for Biological Diversity, environmental groups and the State of California against the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security. It outlines that the Quino checkerspot butterfly, Riverside fairy shrimp and the Pacific pocket
mouse will be threatened if the border wall is built. The butterfly, which is native to southern California and
Northern Mexico, is already on the endangered species list.
farm seeks to increase allowed number of bat deaths. The Hawaiian hoary bat, or 'ope'ape'a, is Hawaii's only
native land mammal, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which adds that "relatively little research has been
conducted" on the bat's habitat and population. The nocturnal creature with a brown-and-gray coat and white-tinged
ears preys on insects and is believed to roost among trees in areas near forests. The bat has been spotted on Hawaii
island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai, and population estimates have ranged from hundreds to a few thousand. In October
1970, the bat was listed as a federally endangered species. The nene, meanwhile, has been listed as endangered since
1967 and has an estimated statewide population of around 2,500, according to the International Union for Conservation of
Nature's Red List.
Fish and Wildlife Service is out of control and we should all be concerned. The Obama era tradition of
bureaucratic overreach is alive and well in the Fish and Wildlife Service. Using an endangered frog, the Fish and
Wildlife Service is attempting to dictate how private landowners use their land. The saga of the dusky gopher frog is
lengthy, but one perfectly illustrative of federal government overreach into the rights of the private citizenry.
Protecting endangered species is part of the function of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but a recent string of court
decisions, based on a classic sue-and-settle case, has given the agency virtually unlimited power. And it's all thanks
to a frog.
Grizzly Bears No Longer Endangered, Interior Dept. Declares. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
declared conservation efforts to save the Yellowstone grizzly bears a success, with the animals having recovered sufficiently
to remove federal protections from the bears and return responsibility to the states and tribes. The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) is issuing a final rule to remove the bears from the Endangered Species List (ESL). The agency
determined the number of Yellowstone grizzly bears has risen from as few as 136 in 1975 to an estimated 700 today in a
population that has remained relatively stable for more than a decade, according to a press release from Zinke's office.
Drops Mexican Vole From Endangered Species List. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has removed the
Hualapai Mexican vole from the endangered species list, three decades after mistakenly listing the rodent as an endangered
subspecies of Mexican vole in 1987, according to a final rule published in the Federal Register. The state of Arizona
filed a petition with FWS to have the creature removed from the list in 2004, citing an analysis showing the Hualapai was not
a distinct subspecies of the Mexican vole. Despite accepting Arizona's evidence in 2008, it was not until 2015 FWS
drafted a rule to remove the vole from the endangered species list. Thirty years after it was mistakenly listed as
endangered, the vole lost its protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) at the end of July.
push to get panther off endangered species list. Florida panthers are prowling the state's swamps, ranchlands
and forests in numbers not seen in at least half a century. [...] The panther, one of the original 14 mammals named to the
endangered species list in 1967, has rebounded sharply from a low of just 20 or 30 south and west of Lake Okeechobee.
Today an estimated 150 to 250 of them stalk deer, hogs and other prey in southwest Florida, with adventurous males ranging
into central and northern Florida.
administration removes protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears. The Trump administration is removing Endangered Species
Act protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears, after they spent more than four decades on the threatened list. The Interior
Department's Fish and Wildlife Service announced the delisting decision Thursday [6/22/2017], which immediately drew rebukes from
conservationists and Democrats. Officials said that conservation efforts for the bear, a more than fourfold increase in its
population and state policies designed to protect the bears show that the delisting is warranted.
pout rather than celebrate successful recovery of bird species in Texas. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
states the purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon
which they depend. When Congress passed the ESA in 1973, it recognized that our right natural heritage is of "esthetic,
ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people." The law's ultimate goal is to
"recover" species so they no longer need protection under the ESA. Texans have accomplished this goal with the
golden-cheeked warbler species. A 2015 study by the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources produced
scientific evidence that the warbler population is 19 times larger than when the species was listed in 1990.
Yet, the warbler species remains under federal regulation.
Upholds ESA Land Grabs Made to Protect Species Not Living on Private Property. By a vote of eight to six, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declined to reopen proceedings in Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS), in which an earlier panel of the court determined FWS could list as critical habitat private property that
currently contains no members of a protected species. At issue in the case was whether FWS can designate an area as
critical habitat for an endangered species, in this case the dusky gopher frog, if the species doesn't occupy the area so
designated and current conditions preclude the species from using the area for habitat. The lower court's decision to
allow the designation remains in force.
Seeks to Remove Gray Wolf from CA Endangered Species List. A lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation
(PLF) on behalf of California farmers and ranchers alleges a state commission's 2014 decision to list gray wolves as an
endangered species is illegal. The suit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court on January 31, says the listing was
illegal because, among other things, the gray wolves at issue are a non-native species originally from Canada, not a subspecies
originally native to California. Accordingly, the wolves that entered California are not protected under the 1970
California Endangered Species Act.
Halts SW Metro Road Project. The Rusty Patched Bumblebee was just put on the endangered species list.
Experts say their numbers have been dropping over the years. And that decision has halted work on a busy stretch of
Flying Cloud Drive near Highway 101 in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen. Project managers said that while the bee hasn't
been spotted in the work area, the lay of the land makes it prime habitat for the pollinator.
Won't Rule Out Endangered Species Act Suits To Block Trump's Wall. President Trump's political opponents may
use existing federal laws designed to protect endangered species to stop him from building a border wall to stem the flow of
illegal immigrants coming from Mexico. Environmentalists say Trump's proposed border wall would hinder the movement of
endangered species migrating through their natural, cross-border habitats, and activists aren't above filing suit under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) to stop the wall.
Senator Boxer Attempts To Block Her Own Bill. California Tea Party activists have long battled the bureaucrats
and politicians over policies related to water. One of the most well-known of the myriad of issues is the diversion of
water from farms in the Central Valley (a major source of this nation's fruits and nuts... outside of San Francisco, that
is). One goal of this reallocation of a prime agricultural resource is the protection of a bait fish known as the Delta
Smelt. Last week, the House of Representatives easily passed a major water bill that includes emergency aid for Flint,
Mich., and boosts U.S. ports, dams and waterways. This bill, known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), was
initially co-authored by the notorious Senator Barbara Boxer, who infamously derided a Brigadier General for referring to her
States Sue Feds Over Expanding 'Critical Habitat' to Areas With No Protected Species. Eighteen states have
filed a lawsuit against the federal government over Final Rules that expand the definition of "critical habitat" to include
areas that are currently unoccupied by any threatened or endangered species. The Final Rules, Listing Endangered and
Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat, which were published in the Federal Register on February 11 and went
into effect March 14, expand the definition of "critical habitat" to include areas in which "species presence or habitats are
ephemeral in nature, [or] species presence is difficult to establish through surveys (e.g. when a plant's 'presence' is sometimes
limited to a seed bank)."
Thinking About Killing 31,000 Mining Jobs To Protect A Chicken. A new report has government officials
considering setting 10 million acres of across six states in the American west off limits to mining and development to
protect the chicken-like Greater Sage Grouse, which is not an endangered species. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
report found that much of the Sage Grouse's habitat sits on top of extremely valuable deposits of minerals including gold,
copper, lithium, silver, uranium and many others. The USGS report means that the government's most restrictive grouse
protection plan could kill even more than 31,000 jobs and lead to more than $5.6 billion in reduced annual economic
output, estimated by a Western Energy Alliance report. Federal agencies have already frozen new mining claims across
the 10 million acres while they do another environmental impact study.
Panda no longer endangered species, say conservationists. The Giant Panda is no longer an endangered species
following decades of rescue efforts, conservationists have confirmed. The International Union for Conservation of Nature,
which keeps track of threatened species across the world, said it was reclassifying the animal as only 'vulnerable.'
Sage Grouse Protections Hatching Lawsuits. The Obama administration's greater sage grouse protection plan has
spawned multiple lawsuits, including two since April. The administration's plan to protect the sage grouse, while
avoiding listing the ground-dwelling bird as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), places strict limits on the
use of more than 180 million acres of federal, state, and private lands across the bird's historic range, which covers 11
Western states. In one lawsuit, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and lawyers for nine Nevada counties, ranchers, and
miners say three top Interior Department officials, who dubbed themselves the "Grouseketeers," illegally sought input from
conservationists outside the planning process. They say the grouse protection plan contravenes the best scientific
evidence presented by the Obama administration's own experts.
Turbines Killing Tens of Thousands of Bats, Many Endangered. Wind turbines are killing bats, including ones on
the endangered species list, at nearly double the rate set as acceptable by the Ontario government, the latest monitoring
report indicates. Bats are being killed in Ontario at the rate of 18.5 per turbine, resulting in an estimated 42,656
bat fatalities in Ontario between May 1 and October 31, 2015, according to the report released by Bird Studies Canada,
a bird conservation organization. Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources has set 10 bat deaths per turbine as the threshold
at which the mortalities are considered significant and warrant action. The bats being killed by turbines in Ontario include
the little brown bat, tri-coloured bat, eastern small footed bat, and northern long-eared bat, all on the endangered species list.
Sage Grouse Protections Hatching Lawsuits. The Obama administration's greater sage grouse protection plan has
spawned multiple lawsuits, including two since April. The administration's plan to protect the sage grouse, while
avoiding listing the ground-dwelling bird as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), places strict limits on the
use of more than 180 million acres of federal, state, and private lands across the bird's historic range, which covers 11
Western states. In one lawsuit, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and lawyers for nine Nevada counties, ranchers, and
miners say three top Interior Department officials who dubbed themselves the "Grouseketeers" illegally sought input from
conservationists outside the planning process and that the grouse protection plan contravenes the best scientific evidence
presented by the Obama administration's own experts.
Delisting Process is Failing According to Testimony. Witnesses at a U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee hearing in April testified the Endangered Species Act (ESA) lacks a proper process for delisting species, which
they say results in many species remaining on the Endangered Species List when they do not belong there. There are
currently 2,258 species protected under ESA, and only 63 have been delisted since the law's enactment in 1973. Joel
Bousman, the vice president of the Western Interstate Region of the National Association of Counties, testified at the hearing,
saying, "When a species is put on the Endangered Species Act list, it's a bit like checking into the Hotel California.
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."
ditch the doom and gloom and celebrate our improving environment. [Scroll down] For the past decade,
forest cover [in the U.S.] has been approximately 33 percent, slightly above the global average of 31 percent. As with
carbon emissions, abundant forest cover is not due to the federal government's forest management policies. Yes, timber production
on U.S. Forest Service lands has declined by 83 percent since the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest and other environmental
scare stories stifled logging in the 1990s. However, as unmanaged forests have become denser and older, they have also become
more susceptible to drought, fire, disease, and insects. As a result, forest mortality has tripled as harvesting has declined
leaving our national forests with a negative growth rate.
Coast fisher denied endangered species protections. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped its consideration to give the
West Coast fisher — a small, weasel-like mammal predator whose population has nearly disappeared across the West Coast for
decades — federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Channel Islands Foxes No Longer Endangered. On February 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed
removing the San Miguel, Santa Rose, and Santa Cruz fox subspecies from the Endangered Species List and downgrading the Santa
Catalina Island fox from "endangered" to "threatened" status. The four fox subspecies native to the California Channel
Islands were listed as endangered in 2004 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after researchers reported population
declines of over 90 percent.
Wield Powerful ESA to Kill Jobs. A.A. "Red" Emmerson, chairman of Sierra Pacific Industries, announced the
permanent closure of its sawmill on the Samoa Peninsula in Arcata, California, resulting in the loss of 123 jobs.
Emmerson cited reduced harvests from federal forests and regulatory burdens as the primary reason for the closure. The
shutdown of the last mill on the once-bustling Humboldt Bay was just the timber industry's latest loss in a long and steady
decline resulting from endless pressure from environmentalists and from U.S. Forest Service complicity. [...] The closed
mills and lost jobs are due primarily to a 1991 court ruling, in which a group of local environmentalists, the Seattle
Audubon Society, convinced a court protecting the spotted owl was more important than the robust logging industry in
Washington State, Oregon, and California.
Obama's Eleventh Hour
Land Grab. These last several months of the Obama presidency may be the most dangerous time in America's
history, at least domestically. Having nothing to lose and with time waning, Obama is throwing all caution to the wind
as he attempts to push as much of his radical anti-freedom agenda as is possible before his tenure comes to a close. A
large part of his or any anti-freedom agenda is the confiscation of wealth and property from the private sector and Obama is
leaving no stone unturned in his want to do so. CFact is reporting on just one of his parting shot land grabs: the
"Endangered Species Act" (ESA). [...] He has ordered the like-minded autocrats at the Interior Department to get busy rewriting
and making new rules and regulations to further strengthen the ESA — and weaken us.
The Editor says... Den is not a verb, even if the Associated Press uses it as such.
of California water-tunnel project claim it's gov't waste to save tiny smelt. Even as it squeezes taxpayers to
repair bridges and roads, cash-strapped California is planning a $15 billion water tunnel designed, at least in part, to save
a tiny fish that may already be extinct. The "WaterFix" Twin Tunnels project, championed by Gov. Jerry Brown but opposed
by environmental groups and taxpayers alike, would bore 150 feet underground to the side of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The plan is to divert fresh water for thirsty farms and communities throughout the state without disturbing the habitat of protected
species that live in the delta, including the finger-long delta smelt. "To a large extent, this seemingly innocuous little
fish controls much of what we can or cannot do in the delta," said Robert Shibatani, managing partner and principal hydrologist at
the California-based Shibatani Group International.
to spend $50 million moving 1,100 turtles. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to spend $50 million moving some 1,100
turtles from its training base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., or about $45,454 each. The program includes a 30-year assessment
of their efforts to monitor the desert tortoises that are listed as threatened under federal law. According to Marine Corps
Times, the tortoises live on a section of the base that is to be used for training.
Fights Effort to Introduce Mexican Gray Wolf in State. Utah state officials are fighting a Department of the
Interior (DOI) plan to include southern Utah in a recovery zone for the Mexican gray wolf, a sub-species they say has never
lived north of Interstate 40, which runs through the middle of New Mexico and Arizona. The DOI plan is to lure Mexican gray
wolves to southern Utah, an act the Utah Wildlife Board (UWB) warned in a December 2015 letter to DOI would actually harm the species,
because Mexican gray wolves would have to compete with and interbreed with northern gray wolves, a separate species.
Isn't survival of the fittest good enough? Biologists
kill bully owls to protect endangered owls. A biologist and contractor with a lumber company is at the heart of an
experiment sanctioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: killing bully owls to protect endangered owls.
admin allocates water for endangered fish, leaves California farmers high and dry. Despite wetter-than-average weather in
California, some farmers are looking at another year of a zero federal water allocation even as the billions of gallons of water continue
to be dumped into the ocean in order to save a three-inch fish. The worst part for many lawmakers at Wednesday's [2/24/2016] House
subcommittee hearing is that the Delta smelt remains as vulnerable as ever after the loss of 1.4 trillion gallons of water since
2008 under the federal Endangered Species Act.
of California water-tunnel project claim it's gov't waste to save tiny smelt. Even as it squeezes taxpayers to
repair bridges and roads, cash-strapped California is planning a $15 billion water tunnel designed, at least in part, to save
a tiny fish that may already be extinct. The "WaterFix" Twin Tunnels project, championed by Gov. Jerry Brown but opposed
by environmental groups and taxpayers alike, would bore 150 feet underground to the side of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The plan is to divert fresh water for thirsty farms and communities throughout the state without disturbing the habitat of protected
species that live in the delta, including the finger-long delta smelt. "To a large extent, this seemingly innocuous little fish
controls much of what we can or cannot do in the delta," said Robert Shibatani, managing partner and principal hydrologist at the
California-based Shibatani Group International.
The Editor asks...
What is so important about that fish? If the Delta Smelt is already near extinction, what other animal is starving as a result?
Why aren't the left-wing environmentalists happy to see survival of the fittest in action?
Scientists ID new genus of tree frogs long
thought extinct. For more than a century, two mysterious tree frog specimens collected by a British naturalist in 1870 and housed at the Natural
History Museum in London were assumed to be part of a vanished species, never again found in the wild. Until now.
ID new genus of tree frogs long thought extinct. For more than a century, two mysterious tree frog specimens
collected by a British naturalist in 1870 and housed at the Natural History Museum in London were assumed to be part of a
vanished species, never again found in the wild. Until now.
could be reclassified from endangered to threatened. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to announce today [1/6/2016]
that it will reclassify manatees in Florida from an endangered species to a threatened species. The possible reclassification comes as
the number of manatees in the state has steadily rebounded since the sea cows were first listed as a federal endangered species in 1973.
No formal announcement has been made by the agency, but a federal regulatory agenda issued six weeks ago said the reclassification was a given.
sue Oregon for removing gray wolf from endangered list. Environmental groups have sued Oregon wildlife
officials for removing gray wolves from a list of state-protected endangered species, officials said on Thursday
[12/31/2015]. Three environmental groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity filed a brief petition for judicial
review with the Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday [12/30/2015].
Say Great Lakes Wolves Not At Risk. Twenty-six wildlife management professionals and scientists signed a joint
letter to the Department of the Interior, urging it remove the great lakes gray wolf populations in Michigan, Minnesota, and
Wisconsin from the Endangered Species list. According to the November 18 letter, the scientists say the species is
no longer endangered in the region and does not require further protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Many
of the experts previously argued for protecting the wolves in the past, making the letter especially significant.
grouse create stir in Nevada neighborhood. The regulations establish buffer zones as large as 3 miles in
diameter around sage grouse "leks," the traditional breeding grounds for the chicken-sized bird whose numbers have dwindled
from 16 million to between 500,000 and 200,000 due in large part to wildfires, mining, livestock grazing and other
development across 11 western states.
Federal Fumbles 2015. For most Americans $30,000 is a
substantial amount of money that could pay off debt, purchase a vehicle, or maybe even buy a home. What about $30,000 to secure a house for a bug?
That is the price some must pay in "beetle credits" to have access to land without disturbing the habitat of the American Burying Beetle, an insect that
teeters on being listed as endangered by the federal government. The American Burying Beetle was listed as an endangered species in 1989 as part of
the Endangered Species Act. Across the country its numbers have soared, yet the beetle still remains listed as threatened by FWS. Companies
within the oil and gas industry have been known to pay upward of $30,000 per drilling well in "beetle credits" to gain access to and develop land on which
the beetle may reside. Remember, the companies who pay for these beetle credits pass that cost on to you, the American consumer. The federal
government has an obligation to serve as a steward of U.S. land and maintain the habitat for God's creatures, but is spending that much really necessary
for an insect that no longer needs such protection?
Judge Strikes Down Prairie Chicken Designation. Judge Robert Junell of the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Texas struck down a federal protection for the lesser prairie chicken (LPC), a species found in southern Great
Plains states. Junell's September 1 ruling overturns a 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
to list the species, found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, as threatened under the Endangered Species
Act (ESA). Although in the long term the court's decision could influence how FWS considers voluntary conservation measures
when issuing listing decisions under ESA, there is no indication it played any role in the decision made by FWS not to list
the related sage grouse as threatened or endangered under ESA on September 22.
Grouse Not Endangered, Fish and Wildlife Service Decides. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it has declined to list
the greater sage grouse as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The September 22 decision was cheered by some
environmentalists and states, decried by others, and seems unlikely to end the nearly decade-long controversy over how best to reverse the sage
grouse's long-term decline. The greater sage grouse population has declined by an estimated 90 percent across its 167 million
acres of habitat in 11 Western states.
Dead Fish Worth More Than Struggling Farmers? The hellish drought in California has casualties. It tried to
destroy farmers, and has in some cases, but guess what it really destroyed? The Delta Smelt. The much admired, or reviled,
species depending on your perspective has declined beyond the point of organic regeneration. This would hardly be newsworthy,
were it not for the fact that environmentalists and their supporters in government have redistributed the dwindling baitfish's
suffering to human beings within and beyond the borders of California.
Paris treaty all that stands between us and mass extinction? Scientists are beginning to understand the circumstances of five
mass extinctions that transformed the world over the past 4½ billion years. [...] [Elizabeth] Kolbert travelled the world, from
the Americas to the Great Barrier Reef to Europe, to document vanishing frogs, bats, rhinoceroses, coral. In our Anthropocene age, named
for the impact of human activity, increasing numbers of species exist only in "frozen zoos", their cells preserved in pools of liquid nitrogen
at -195 degrees. Amphibians, which have been around for 250 million years, are now the most endangered species.
The Editor says...
The amphibians are a class, not a species.
Administration: Sage Grouse Not Endangered. The Obama administration announced it will
decline to give the greater sage grouse protected status as an endangered species. The administration credited voluntary
land preservation programs for making an endangered listing unnecessary.
60,000 antelope died in 4 days,
and no one knows why. It started in late May. When geoecologist Steffen Zuther and his colleagues arrived
in central Kazakhstan to monitor the calving of one herd of saigas, a critically endangered, steppe-dwelling antelope, veterinarians
in the area had already reported dead animals on the ground. "But since there happened to be die-offs of limited extent during
the last years, at first we were not really alarmed," Zuther, the international coordinator of the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative,
told Live Science.
Top 10 reasons to vote Democrat.
[#1] You think that it's better to pay billions for oil to people who hate us and want us destroyed, but not drill
our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, fish or frog.
cougar has likely been extinct for 70 years. The eastern cougar has been classified as
"endangered" since 1973, but the last records of the animal date back to the 1930s in Maine and New
Brunswick. Most of these cougars were killed in the 1800s as the result of European immigrants
clearing forests. Those immigrants also killed the animals out of concern that the large predators
would hunt livestock.
at the door: Court ruling triggers backlash over Endangered Species Act. Many view the
gray wolf's recovery in the Great Lakes region as one of the Endangered Species Act's success
stories. But to those on the front lines of the wolf's range, the so-called model program in
December became a model of judicial overreach. "Try to put yourself in the farmer's shoes.
It's literally a federal crime. You could be watching your pasture and you could see a wolf
killing your cattle, which is like watching someone at the ATM taking money out of your bank account,
and you can do nothing to stop it," said Charlie Poster, assistant commissioner at the Minnesota
Department of Agriculture. The state agency has a backlog of more than $50,000 compensation
claims due state farmers who lost livestock to wolves.
fish keeping water off limits amid Calif. drought, farmers weigh challenge. At three
inches long, the delta smelt is one of the smallest fish in California — but ounce for
ounce, no species statewide carries more weight. Endangered since 1993, the plankton-eating
silver minnow is blamed by farmers, lawmakers and water officials up and down the Golden State for
locking down billions of gallons of water that otherwise would go to them. That's because, since
the smelt's listing as a protected species, biologists have tried saving the fish, in part, by
withholding fresh river runoff annually to maintain smelt-friendly temperature and salinity levels.
Offers ESA Reform Bill. The ESA Settlement Reform Act will give local governments and
stakeholders a chance to have a say in ESA settlements affecting them, by requiring public notification
when a lawsuit has been filed and allowing affected landowners and governments to intervene in the case.
The bill would limit taxpayer liability by disallowing courts from awarding litigation costs when an out of
court settlement or consent decree is reached. In addition, for settlements not involving a consent
decree, the court would have to ensure the settlement does not include payments to plaintiffs for their
Monkey Spotted Decades After Species' Alleged Demise. Welcome back, Bouvier's red
colobus monkey. It's been a while. The African primate hasn't been seen since the 1970s
and was assumed to have become extinct. But, in a statement released late last week, the Wildlife
Conservation Society says two primatologists working in the forests of the Republic of Congo were
successful in a quest begun in February to confirm reports that Bouvier's is still out there.
They returned with a first-ever snapshot of a mother and infant.
the Environmentalists are Destroying California. In 2007, they mobilized around saving
the Delta Smelt, a three-inch baitfish, as an outgrowth of a policy that for decades put animal life
and vegetation ahead of drinking water and food. The Delta Smelt requires a rare and somewhat
precise mixture of fresh and salt water. It is by any measure a fragile species. In
August 2007, Federal Judge Oliver Wanger ruled that the fresh water pumped into the Central Valley,
the lifeblood of its economic base, threatened the survival of the Delta Smelt. He ordered a
severe reduction in the water directed to Central Valley agriculture. The ruling (subsequently
reversed for sloppy science and then upheld) resulted in a loss of thousands of jobs and acres of
farmland. [...] The fight over the Delta Smelt [...] is a fight between people who value a
baitfish over productive farmland and America's food resources.
Spend 4 Billion Gallons to Save a Few Fish? In the the [sic] heart of California's
drought-parched Central Valley, fruit and vegetable supplier to the nation, a water district is
defying a federal order to give some endangered trout a 3.9 billion gallon water ride out to sea.
And it could be the first skirmish in a much wider conflict. The Endangered Species Act protects
steelhead trout, a small population of which are attempting a recovery in the Stanislaus River,
which flows out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into Modesto, in the San Joaquin Valley. So
earlier this week a federal fisheries agency — it's unclear which one, and there are
several — told the California branch of the Bureau of Reclamation (another water agency)
that the fish needed more water to get out to the Pacific. The bureau in turn passed the order
to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, telling them to let a pulse of water through the dam
on the Stanislaus.
thought to be extinct spotted in Colombia. Long thought extinct, a rare breed of
hummingbird was once again found deep in the Colombian highlands. The blue-bearded helmetcrest
was caught on camera for the first time — allowing scientists and bird lovers across the
globe to breathe a sigh of relief that this avian wonder still exists. The bird — a
medium-sized hummingbird endemic to the mountains of the Santa Marta region of northeast Colombia —
was first discovered in 1880 but has not been seen in the highlands since 2011.
butterfly doesn't need so much help. One year ago, President Obama met with the
leaders of Canada and Mexico. Their agenda included trade, security — and the
conservation of the monarch butterfly. Such high-level attention is nothing new to the monarchs,
which are used to being treated like celebrities. White House meetings are convened to focus on
saving them, senators demand their protection and a North American Monarch Conservation Plan has
existed since 2008. A new high-level working group, charged with developing management plans to
bolster the butterfly's numbers, includes the heads of the Forest Service, National Park Service,
Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration and Agriculture Department. [...] But it
has gone too far: A group of organizations and individuals has petitioned the Interior Department
to protect the monarch by having it listed under the Endangered Species Act. I strongly support insect
conservation and the organizations behind this effort, but I don't support an endangered listing for
eagles soaring back from the brink of extinction. After being nearly wiped, [sic] the bald
eagle is soaring back to health and filling the skies across the United States. There is no better
way to gauge their successful recovery than by checking in on the nests in places like Pennsylvania.
Many are buzzing with chicks and their attentive parents this time of year, giving conservationists
much to cheer about.
grouse protection block gives Western developers win over environmentalists. A successful Republican move
to stop in its tracks the Obama administration's bid to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act may be a
sign of things to come in the long-running battle between environmentalists and economic developers across the West.
A GOP policy "rider" tucked into the massive $1.1 trillion spending bill debated by Congress last week cuts off any money
for the administration to move on the grouse issue, and with Republicans set to take full control of the House and the
Senate next month, that's unlikely to be the last such move.
51 Examples of
Government Waste. [#40] The U.S. Army awarded a $91,318 grant to the Virginia Department of Conservation
and Recreation to count and determine the population of "little brown bats" in and around Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
The Army hopes this survey will determine whether the bats should be added to the endangered species list.
First, Ask Questions Later. Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the
Gunnison sage grouse a threatened species. [...] By restricting development of a million acres in
Colorado and Utah, the designation makes it harder for Americans to feed, house, and clothe
themselves. The Gunnison sage grouse, a smaller variant of the "greater sage grouse," was
designated as a separate species only in 2000. [...] Designation of the Gunnison grouse as a
threatened species is entirely unnecessary. Even FWS admits that states, local governments,
businesses, and private landowners have taken "extraordinary" steps to preserve the bird.
If the steps already taken are "extraordinary," what else does FWS have in mind?
per bird? California cormorants refuse to budge from bridge being demolished. Now that
a crucial section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been replaced by a new $6.4 billion
span, nobody needs it anymore — nobody except about 800 birds who call the decrepit,
78-year-old segment home. [...] "They're spending $33 million to get rid of these 800 birds — that
comes out to about $40,000 a bird — that's more money than most people in the United States make in a
given year!" said Brian Sussman, a conservative radio talk show host in San Francisco.
Required to Address Sage Grouse Decline. Eleven western states face a deadline to show
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service local efforts to protect the greater sage grouse have been
effective and federal intervention is unwarranted. States and Native American tribes have until
December 31 to submit information concerning the species' population and habitat status. The
decision on whether to place the sage grouse on the endangered species list is expected by September 2015.
protest Obama's San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Holding up signs that said
"Monumental mistake" and twirling gold-and-silver hula hoops, a handful of protesters gathered in
San Dimas on Friday to express their opposition to President Obama's designation of the San Gabriel
Mountains as a national monument. [...] Stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino, the San
Gabriel watershed is within a 90-minute drive of 17 million people. The rugged slopes and canyons
are home to rare and endangered species, including Nelson's bighorn sheep, mountain yellow-legged frogs and
Santa Ana suckers.
warming and extinct species: three case studies. One of the many projected impacts of
global warming, or climate change if you prefer, is species extinction. [...] It's also been
reported that some species have already been driven to extinction by climate change, with the
implication being that we're already seeing the thin end of the wedge. But are these reports
true? Are the species definitely extinct, and if so was climate change really to blame?
The Editor says...
Excuse me for repeating myself, but once again, these "threatened species" alarmists are the same people who teach "survival
of the fittest" in the public schools. They should have no problem with natural selection running its course.
But it is a bit difficult to blame extinctions on global warming when there has been no global warming for the
past 18 years.
a Wyoming strategy to save the sage grouse work? Wyoming's economy is built on the sagebrush steppes sage
grouse call home. Some 15.3 million acres, or 25 percent of the state, is considered important habitat
for the bird. Ranchers rely on these windswept lands to graze their cattle. Oil, gas and mining companies
drill holes in the dusty surface to access the rich treasure trove of hydrocarbons and minerals underground.
Listing the sage grouse as an endangered species could greatly restrict those activities across much of Wyoming.
Pushes Back Against Federal Prairie Chicken Restrictions. Kansas public officials are pushing back
against U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service environmental restrictions regarding prairie chickens. In March, the
FWS listed the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species in five states and proposed stifling land-use restrictions.
According to the FWS, a prolonged drought in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas has reduced lesser prairie
chicken numbers in the five states by nearly 50 percent since 2012. Although nearly 18,000 free-roaming lesser prairie
chickens remain in the five states, the FWS took the opportunity to use the Endangered Species Act to propose land-use
restrictions in the states. The FWS blames farmers and ranchers for declining prairie chicken numbers, saying the
conversion of prairies to farms and grazing lands has dramatically reduced the prairie chicken's natural habitat.
Declare Mouse Endangered, Family Might Lose Everything. A family's livestock enterprise in New Mexico
is in danger of being completely shut down now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the meadow jumping
mouse to be an endangered species, Watchdog reports. The new regulations came into effect from the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service last month, and as a result, the U.S. Forest Service is considering installing 8-foot high fences to
protect the mouse, which would permanently prevent the Lucero family's livestock from grazing. The family is
already in possession of grazing permits from the federal government, but the permits become irrelevant in the event
that a new species is declared endangered. The Lucero family has had their livestock graze on the land in the
Santa Fe National Forest for more than a century, starting first with sheep, but then switching to cattle in the 1920s.
Why a Chicken
and a Mouse Are Stirring Debate in New Mexico. Last week, four counties in New Mexico
joined in a lawsuit stemming from the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. The announcement came just
one day after the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the meadow jumping mouse should be protected
under the Endangered Species Act, giving it greater habitat protection but angering ranchers in a
southern New Mexico county who are odds with the federal government over water and property rights.
case? Feds go after California tree trimmer for hurting herons. Ernesto Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal
Service to cut back the trees, specifically to prevent a group of herons from sitting and defecating on the mail trucks
parked below. But in the course of pruning the trees, his crew cut down limbs where the black-crowned night
herons — one of 1,026 species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act — were nesting.
Several baby birds fell and were injured. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reportedly is seeking he pay a
$1,500 fine for a misdemeanor violation. The infraction can carry a penalty of up to $15,000 and six months in jail.
Prosecuting Tree-Trimmer for Unintentionally Bruising Herons. Ernest Pulido is expected to face
charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office within a week for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He could
face a maximum fine of $15,000 and six months in jail. Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal Service to prune
trees May 3 outside an Oakland, Calif., branch, where postal officials were upset with birds pooping on mail
trucks. One branch that Pulido cut contained nesting black-crowned night herons, one of more than 1,000 species
of birds protected under the act. No birds were killed. Five were injured and taken to a bird rescue in
Fairfield, where the facility said all would heal and be able to be returned to the wild. One bird suffered a
fractured beak while the offers suffered bruises and scrapes. Pulido is currently paying for the birds' care.
Even though nothing has indicated the tree-trimmer intentionally targeted the birds, Pulido is being referred for prosecution.
drop criminal charges over damaged bird nest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has
dropped plans to pursue criminal charges against a California tree trimmer who accidentally injured
some baby birds — an incident that attracted the attention of the House's chief
investigator and charges of "bureaucratic bullying." The tree trimmer, Ernesto Pulido, told the
San Francisco Chronicle that he was recently told that the agency had decided to drop the case
against him — an abrupt about-face just days after Rep. Darrell Issa, California
Republican, called for a congressional inquiry.
double standard on endangered species laws? The federal government is not shy about
prosecuting those who violate threatened and endangered species laws. But under a new Obama
administration policy, wind farm operators are getting 30-year permits to kill protected species.
The government fined marine biologist Nancy Black $12,000 and sentenced her to three years
probation for feeding a whale in Monterey Bay. Just last month, US Fish and Wildlife cited
26-year- old tree trimmer Ernesto Pulido for violating the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act for
disturbing a nest of herons. P
companies say new fed reg on prairie bird won't fly in South. Oil companies say a weeks-old Obama administration
ruling that protects a Southwestern prairie bird has already halted oil-drilling operations in Kansas and is costing the U.S.
economy tens of millions of dollars, as a GOP congressmen suggests the move is another "job-killing" attack on fossil fuel.
Shakedown. Despite numerous attempts, the ESA has not had any major revisions in more
than 25 years. The Wall Street Journal states: "The ESA's mixed record on wildlife
restoration and its impact on business have made the law vulnerable to critics."
next land fight: New Mexico ranchers angered over water fenced off to cattle. The Obama
administration's crackdown on Western land use has sparked a furor over the Forest Service's decision to
fence off a creek used by thirsty cattle in drought-stricken Otero County, New Mexico. The Otero
County Commission is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss whether to order the sheriff to open the gates
against the wishes of Forest Service officials, who have argued that the fence is needed to protect the
Agua Chiquita riparian area and habitat for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.
officials blast feds over treatment of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. Two of Nevada's top elected leaders
are riding to the rescue of a rancher whose decades-long range war with the federal government has reached a boiling
point in recent days. The federal Bureau of Land Management has surrounded the Clark County ranch of Cliven Bundy
with armed officers, helicopters and four-wheel drive vehicles. Last week, they began seizing cattle found grazing
on adjacent federal lands in violation of a law meant to protect an endangered desert tortoise.
The Editor says...
Oh, now I see what this is all about. The tortoise wasn't mentioned in any of the news coverage
I saw, which by the way was all on Fox News Channel.
Bureau of Land Management Hiding
Behind Toothless Tortoise. A June 1990 study, called The Desert Tortoise in
Relation to Cattle Grazing by Vernon Bostick formerly posted to the University of Arizona
website (and still found through Google) should prove once and for all the incredible stupidity of
the bumbling bureaucrats with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM's self-proclaimed
'Save the Tortoise' balderdash is killing off both the tortoise and cows.
cry foul as feds place lesser prairie chicken on threatened species list. The Obama administration on
Thursday [3/27/2014] announced plans to place the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move
that drew the ire of some lawmakers and energy producers who derided the decision as an "overreach." The
Fish and Wildlife Service's decision, set to take effect around May 1, is a step below "endangered" status
and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species
Act. The move could affect agriculture, oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Texas,
Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico and Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback said he's concerned the decision will
hurt the state's economy.
Pikes, Pickets, and Scams.
Whenever the proponents of green energy argue for more money for these failed projects, they assert that the life of every
bird, bee, snail, and minnow is precious and that green energy will save what nasty fossil fuels endanger. We've already
seen how the strict rules about killing endangered birds are waived when it comes to avian pâté-making windmills,
now it appears that the huge Ivanpah Solar plant interferes with both aviation and bird life, but who's complaining?
Challenges Use Of Endangered Species To Stop Energy Boom. Oklahoma's attorney general has filed what could become a landmark
lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing the so-called "sue and settle" procedure for listing animals and plants on the
endangered and threatened list violates the federal Endangered Species Act. Scott Pruitt filed the complaint late Monday on behalf
of the state of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a national network of oil and gas companies. The attorney
general charges that "by entering into private settlements with special interest litigants, (the Fish and Wildlife Service) has attempted
to circumvent the legislative and regulatory process and make fundamental changes to its (Endangered Species Act)-imposed obligations."
of bighorn sheep in Arizona spark controversy over conservation effort. The first phase of a three-year plan
by Arizona wildlife officials to bolster herds of bighorn sheep has resulted in the death of half the population, after
the 31 sheep were transplanted at a cost of $150,000 into the Catalina Mountains where mountain lions killed 15 of
the protected species within a few months. Some animal welfare groups are pushing for an end to the project, but
wildlife officials say the conservation effort is not a failure and expect the projected $600,000, three-year plan to
result in greater numbers of bighorns in an area where they once co-existed with mountain lions for centuries.
US energy security threatened by prairie chicken and sage grouse. The Obama administration
seems hell-bent on sabotaging domestic energy production, one way or another. As James Freeman writes in the Wall Street Journal, "Delaying
approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, maintaining export limits and discouraging refinery construction haven't stopped a revolution that will
soon make the United States the world's largest producer of crude oil." But the administration, goaded by radical environmentalists, has a
new weapon to curtail production: more endangered species. Washington may add a record 757 new species to the endangered list by 2018.
Solar Plants May Make
Deserts Too Hot For Tortoises. We've paid plenty of attention here at KCET to the problems caused for desert tortoises when their
habitat is replaced with renewable energy facilities. But now one scientist is saying that big solar facilities in the Mojave could seal
the desert tortoise's fate in a way you might not expect. According to Barry Sinervo, an evolutionary biologist at the University of
California Santa Cruz, current solar projects in the California desert intended to slow global warming, including two approved just last week
by the Interior Department, could actually make the desert too hot for tortoises to survive past the end of the century.
The Costs of the Environmentalism
Cult. California is in the third year of a drought, but the problem isn't a lack of water. The snowfall in the Sierra
provides enough to help us ride out the years of drought. All we need to do is store it. But California hasn't built a new dam
in 35 years. Worse than that, every year we dump 1.6 million acre-feet of water — about enough to serve 3.2 million
families for a year — into the Pacific Ocean in order to protect an allegedly "endangered" 3-inch bait-fish called the Delta smelt.
GOP Has Plan to Get Endangered Species
Act Out of 'Litigation Driven' Mode. Conservatives have long sought changes in the Endangered Species Act, which they claim often serves
as a drag on economic development. They point to instances involving species like the Northern Spotted Owl, listed as threatened under ESA in 1990,
which led to a partial shutdown of timber harvesting activity in the Pacific Northwest to protect the bird's habitat. "Shortly following the
listing, the federal government, through the Clinton Administration's Northwest Forest Plan, administratively withdrew nearly 24 million acres
of federal land — resulting in no access to nearly 85 percent of the area available for timber harvest — from active
management and restricted harvest levels," the report said. "As a result, over 400 lumber mills have closed across Oregon, Washington,
Idaho, Montana and California, terminating over 35,000 direct jobs and countless more indirect jobs."
Green Drought. You have almost certainly
never heard of the Delta smelt and, in all honesty, nor should you have. As fish go, it is undistinguished. Inedible, short-lived, and
growing to a maximum length of just under three inches, smelt are of interest to nobody much — except, that is, to the implacable foot
soldiers of the modern environmental movement, some of whom have recently elevated the smelt's well-being above all else that has traditionally
been considered to be of value. Human beings, the production of food, and the distribution of life-enabling water [are secondary], it seems.
All hail the smelt, the most important animal in America.
of Endangered Species Act threatens American's private property rights. Obama's policymakers often act nefariously
through a tactic called "sue and settle." They settle litigation with their allies in environmental groups behind closed
doors in a way that advances their far-left agenda, blocking out of the process those citizens, states, and local governments
affected by their decisions and their subsequent rules and regulations. Through these secret settlements, they are taking
advantage of their position within the administration to institute a much more radical, aggressive agenda than anything actually
mandated by law.
Endangered Crustacean Could
Delay Metro Plans in Maryland. The discovery of the tiny Hay's Spring amphipod, a federally protected endangered species, in the
waters of Rock Creek Park could delay plans for the Purple Line train to be added to the D.C. Metro rail system. According to the Rock Creek
Conservancy, the amphipod is a ½-to-1-inch colorless, eyeless crustacean that uses hairs to move about and find food. The Conservancy's
website also states that Rock Creek is the only place in the world that the amphipod is found.
Kid Cages at School Bus Stops
Spark Outrage. Environmentalists have galvanized behind a movement to resurrect wolf populations in rural America. [...] In Catron County,
New Mexico, aggressive Mexican gray wolves are terrorizing residents. Here wolves are killing pets in front yards in broad daylight, and forcing
parents to stand guard when children play outside. The threat has become so ominous the local school district has decided to place wolf shelters
(kid cages) at school bus stops to protect school children from wolves while they wait for the bus or parents. These wolf proof cages, constructed
from plywood and wire, are designed to prevent wolves from taking a child. The absurdity of this scenario is mind-numbing. What kind of
society accepts the idea of children in cages while wolves are free to roam where they choose?
An excellent overview of the Endangered Species Act: The failure of endangered species regulation
on private land. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted with much fanfare and little controversy
in 1973. At the time, few anticipated how broadly the law would affect both government and private activities.
Yet ever since its celebrated passage, the nation's premier wildlife conservation law has been a source of conflict
and controversy; it has been rightly described as "one of the most contentious of our federal environmental laws."
The ESA is a focus of controversy in part because of its strength. Indeed, the ESA may be the most powerful
environmental law in the nation. For all the Act's strength, it has not been particularly effective at conserving
species. Although it is the "most comprehensive of all our environmental laws," it is not, by any measure,
the most successful.
Using 'Sue and Settle' to Thwart Oil and Gas
Drillers. Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and an environmental advocacy group agreed to a legal settlement that will
place nine species — including the Panama City crayfish, moccasinshell mussel and boreal toad — on the fast track for placement
on the endangered species list. It is only the latest of many such listings. The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned Fish and
Wildlife to designate some 250 species as endangered since 2008. Many of CBD's petitions — and lawsuits — are still
in the pipeline. About 97% of the species that are designated as endangered never move off the list.
bears defy concerns about their extinction. For years polar bears have been the poster boys of global warming — routinely reported to be
threatened with extinction due to melting ice-packs and rising sea temperatures. Indeed, when they were put on the US Endangered Species list in 2008, they
were the first to be registered solely because of the perceived threat of global warming.
suffers as loggers blame federal regs for lost jobs. The Rough and Ready Sawmill was an institution in southern Oregon for
91 years. [...] While Rough and Ready sits in the middle of America's richest timber country, the federal government owns 80 percent
of the land. Many in these decimated small towns blame The Endangered Species Act, which paved the way for a flood of lawsuits blocking
federal timber sales, because of an endangered species in the region.
Endangered species thriving on US military
ranges. Despite the weekly explosions that rock this Navy-owned island off the Southern California coast, the San Clemente Island
loggerhead shrike has been rebounding from the brink of extinction, even on the military's only ship-to-shore bombardment range.
Feds: Kennedys' Sea Turtle Rescue a
Violation. Two members of the Kennedy family who thought they were doing a good deed by freeing an entangled sea turtle actually
violated the law, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
California's Latest Environmental Boondoggle. Judges have routinely stopped the water flows out of the Delta toward the dry but
agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley and toward Southern California's massive metropolises, to help a tiny endangered baitfish known as the
Delta Smelt. The smelt is viewed as the canary in a coal mine, a bellwether for the ecological health of the waterways. Millions
of smelt are killed each year as they get caught in the giant pumps near Tracy, near the south end of the Delta. Environmentalists also express
concerns about the level of saltwater that moves inland from the Pacific Ocean.
Transformation of a Nation He Despises. [Scroll down] This year, California's Central Valley, which supplies much of
America's fresh fruits and vegetables, will receive only 20% of its normal water allocation for fear of harming the Delta smelt.
A president with real leadership qualities would suspend the efforts to save the smelt and save the humans instead. But this
president is terrified of offending the environmental lobby. In fact, he wants to go farther. Why should farmers have
any water at all if the smelt's future is at stake?
spending millions to protect gophers, while workers go on furlough. A total of 650,000 civilian employees are now being furloughed
at U.S. military bases in response to sequester cuts — but the Department of Defense is still spending millions to protect fuzzy
critters. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington state just received a $3.5 million department grant to purchase land around
the base in an effort to protect the Mazama pocket gopher, a species that has not even been listed as endangered or threatened.
Residents Helpless as Endangered Condors
Invade CA Town. The mighty endangered California condor has decided to take revenge on the people of California.
The birds, which have up to a nine-foot wingspan, have descended Hitchcock-style on the town of Bear Valley Springs, ripping off roof
shingles, clawing at air conditioners, and, of course, coating the town in condor feces.
Project: California's Latest Environmental Boondoggle. [Scroll down] The [Sacramento-San Joaquin] Delta also is
Ground Zero for ongoing fights over the state's water supplies. Judges have routinely stopped the water flows out of the Delta,
toward the dry but agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley and toward Southern California's massive metropolises, to help a tiny
endangered baitfish known as the Delta Smelt. The smelt is viewed as the canary in a coal mine — a bellwether
for the ecological health of the waterways.
Pima County will pay $284,000 to protect lizards at construction site. Pima
County will spend $284,000 to save horned lizards and other critters from an untimely and premature squishing at a west-side construction
site. Work is starting on a project to stabilize the banks of the Santa Cruz River from Ajo Way to Silverlake Road. The
river and surrounding parklands are home to regal horned lizards and other uncommon kinds of reptiles and toads.
Green Tyranny. Louisiana
landowner Edward Poitevent wants to build homes and offices north of Lake Pontchartrain. He could provide safe high-ground housing to
people eager to move away from areas that were flooded during Hurricane Katrina. But he is not allowed to build because the government
decided 1,500 acres of his land should become a preservation area for a threatened species called the dusky gopher frog. None
of these frogs currently live on his property.
Is Every Single Animal and Reptile Endangered? Animals and
reptiles, fish and birds, lizards and turtles, all are born in the wild and all are food for other species. [...] As often as not, those creatures
are simply pawns in the environmental movement's effort to close off vast portions of the nation's landmass to access from the energy industries, the
timber industry, agricultural interests, and any form of development from new housing to hospitals.
Obama the Job-Killing Owl-Killer.
Punishing loggers and bringing the timber industry to its knees have made vengeful environmental groups fat and happy. But the
northern spotted owl they claim to care so much about is catastrophically worse off thanks to green zealotry. One root cause:
habitat loss (thanks in part to raging wildfires resulting from poor forest management and green opposition to thinning/controlled
burns). The other major, nonhuman culprit: the barred owl.
Feds to double habitat for spotted
owl. The full critical habitat plan will not be published until next week, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that
9.6 million acres of Oregon, Washington and Northern California will come under its provisions, almost all of it federal lands. The
amount is down from nearly 14 million acres proposed last February but still exceeds the 5.3 million acres proposed in 2008.
Green state chokes off
its middle class. Los Angeles' water-fueled growth permanently altered entire habitats, including, most famously, the
Owens Valley, which once supported a lake and farming community. It is now a desert. Unfortunately, California
environmentalists are trying to turn much of the Central Valley's farmland back into desert too. Thanks to the Endangered
Species Act, federal courts have ordered farmers to divert hundreds of billions of gallons of water away from crops and into the
Sacramento River, where it is supposed to help revive the delta smelt.
400 plants and animals added to 'threatened' list.
An island-dwelling cockroach and a tiny snail were declared extinct Wednesday [10/17/2012] while 400 plants and animals were added to a threatened "Red List" as
global environment ministers met in India. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) updated its authoritative study on the state of biodiversity on
Earth, saying 20,219 species were at risk of dying out.
Welcome Back, Wolves. Staying for Dinner?
The return of the wolf is one of the unexpected ecological bonuses of the modern era. So numerous are wolves that this fall
Wisconsin and Wyoming have joined Idaho and Montana in opening wolf-hunting seasons for the first time in years.
wolves from Washington state gray wolf pack killed for preying on cattle. Two gray wolves in Washington state were killed from a state
helicopter Tuesday afternoon [9/25/2012] after officials decided the entire pack — believed to be at least eight wolves — needed
to be killed because of repeated attacks on cattle, officials said. [...] Gray wolves are listed as endangered under state law because they were nearly
wiped out a century ago by settlers.
The Editor says...
Why can't I have eagle feathers, too? Why can't we all have eagle feathers? Clearly, the government is abetting and promoting
the superstitious pagan religion of the Indians by selectively suspending federal law.
spider stops construction on State Highway 151 and Loop 1604. The discovery of a rare spider is putting a big highway
construction project on hold. The construction has been going on at State Highway 151 and Loop 1604. The
Texas Department of Transportation started working on a $15 million underpass project there to ease that traffic. However,
now that process has come to a halt because of the sighting of the Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver. Texas DOT officials said an
environmental consultant made the rare discovery while on the site about a week and a half ago. It was found in a 6-foot deep
cave, located in the median where crews had been working, after rainfall exposed it.
Rare spider halts construction project. A road project along Texas'
Highway 151 was progressing on time until along came a spider that shut everything down. The $15 million road expansion
plan to construct an underpass has been halted indefinitely as researchers learn more about the Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver. The
Texas Department of Transportation is working with biologists to protect any endangered species in the construction area.
The Editor says...
Let me see a show of hands: How many of you think one spider looks the same as another? How many of you, if faced with the
situation above, would have run over the spiders with a tractor and kept working? How many of you would like to get stuck in traffic
every morning, knowing that the construction that could have prevented the congestion was halted for the sake of a spider?
How lawsuits target endangered species laws. The formal process to
get a plant or animal listed as an endangered species has become too bureaucratic for many environmental groups that are instead taking the government to court in the
hopes of convincing a judge to force the listing. Researchers at Southern Utah University and Utah State University conducted a study published in March that
included examples of this litigious strategy and its impact on the economy.
Wyoming Gov. Mead Seeks End of
Protection for Yellowstone Grizzlies. The Yellowstone grizzly bear was listed as threatened under the ESA in 1975,
when the area's grizzly population declined to an estimated 136 bears. Approximately 650 grizzly bears live in the
Yellowstone region today. [Governor Matt] Mead argued in his May 24 letter that Yellowstone-area grizzlies are fully
recovered and no longer need endangered species protection.
Endangered salamander listing hurts Texas jobs.
Key Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to block the listing of four salamanders as endangered species in their home state, which they say would stunt
economic development and hinder the creation of new jobs. Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. John Carter authored the Salamander Community Conservation Act in an
attempt to get ahead of the federal listing proposal and allow locals to begin their own preservation efforts.
Agency's decision on beetle could affect Keystone XL
pipeline. A federal agency's recent decision involving the endangered American burying beetle could cause up to a year's
delay in construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, if the project wins federal approval, an environmental group said Tuesday. But a
spokesman for pipeline developer TransCanada Inc., said that assessment was premature and that the company would be able to work around
new rules concerning the beetle.
The Editor says...
The construction of this badly-needed pipeline would probably result in the deaths of several bugs. But I find it hard to
imagine that the pipeline crew would locate and destroy all of the remaining specimens of the burrowing beetle. That could only
happen if all of the beetles live in a straight line, right under the path of the pipeline. Even if all the burrowing
beetles are sure to be wiped out — and that won't happen — the pipeline should be built, because gasoline is
more important to our economy and our lives than beetles.
Idaho County Challenges Endangered Status of
Caribou. Bonner County, Idaho is suing the federal government to remove woodland caribou from protection under the Endangered Species
Act (ESA). County officials point out there are millions of woodland caribou, mostly in Canada, and the fact that only a small number live in the
extreme northern United States does not justify onerous ESA protections.
Why the Scimitar Oryx is
extinct in the wild but alive and well in Texas. Dr. Grey Stafford, Director of Conservation at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix,
Arizona, e-mailed me that he is upset because "lawyers and extremists" use government to change the way he runs his zoo. He says that bad
training and conservation methods are "imposed on us by some outside party whose agenda is not in the best interest of conservation, animals
or zoos." I'm not surprised. Liberal activists always think central planners make life better.
Killing jobs to save the sage grouse.
At a recent three-day hearing before an Idaho federal district court on whether the court should restrict oil, gas and ranching activities over a
vast area of federal land in western Wyoming, an expert summoned by the environmental group that had filed the lawsuit testified, "The greater
sage grouse is one stochastic, catastrophic event away from extirpation in Sublette County." That the moment passed without the judge,
lawyers and spectators convulsing into laughter indicates just how absurd what passes for scientific debate about the Endangered Species Act
(ESA) has become. After all, everything on the planet is "one ... catastrophic event" away from annihilation. [...] Moreover, as the
Sublette County lawsuit shows, the wildlife service and environmental groups label a species "imperiled" in one location despite its vitality
elsewhere. The sage grouse, for example, is a game bird in Wyoming and Montana.
Oppose Wind Power Line in Idaho, Wyoming. Idaho and Wyoming residents and environmental groups are expressing opposition to a
proposed 1,100-mile long high-voltage power line designed to transmit 3,000 megawatts of mostly wind-generated electricity to fast-growing
areas in the West. [...] Among the many issues that have been raised by residents and environmental groups are concerns about the power
line's effect on the habitat of the imperiled sage grouse.
With his prospects in the November election now fading... Obama administration
cancels endangered species listing for lizard. The Obama administration will not list the dune sagebrush lizard as an endangered
species having reached an agreement with oil and gas developers and other stakeholders to protect 650,000 acres of land as habitat for the
creature in Texas and New Mexico. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the unprecedented agreement commits local governments and
industry to help ensure the species' continued existence by reducing human impact on 88 percent of the lizard's range.
Feds say West Texas lizard
does not merit protected status. The dunes sagebrush lizard of the West Texas oil patch will not receive special protections
as an endangered species, the Obama administration announced Wednesday [6/13/2012]. The administration's surprising turn came two years
after federal officials proposed the strongest level of protection under the Endangered Species Act for the rare sand-dwelling reptile, which
has lost critical habitat to energy development and livestock grazing in West Texas and New Mexico.
Environmental objections in path of bullet train.
The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would
potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley. Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox,
would be affected, according to federal biologists. Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air. Dozens
of rivers, canals and wetlands fed from the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada would be crossed, creating other knotty issues.
Spotted owl could be game-changer in Tombstone water
war. The owl is a threatened species, and until a few days ago its presence in fire-scorched Miller Canyon was a matter of
speculation. But now that it has surfaced, the owl could be a game-changer in the water war between the U.S. Forest Service and the
Wild West city made famous by the 30-second gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
FWS Sued for Not Delisting Recovered Beetle.
A group of California property owners and a public policy organization have filed a lawsuit to force the federal government to remove a beetle from the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered species list. Six years ago, FWS determined the valley elderberry longhorn beetle had recovered from its "threatened"
status. Nevertheless, the agency has yet to officially change the beetle's status, so the land-use restrictions and other limitations on property rights remain.
Green is Taking Us for a Ride.
The spotted owl dispute has shut down a substantial part of federal timber harvest and threatens logging on private lands. Nearly
100,000 jobs have been lost. After twenty years, the spotted owls should be multiplied to the point of being a pest.
Instead they've continued to decline.
When "conservation" sometime in the 1970s was redefined as "environmentalism," the morality of the entire issue
likewise changed. Most Americans had wanted clean air and water; and they were willing to pay to curb
pollutants and drive more expensive, but cleaner, cars. They had no desire to see condors die off or kit foxes
disappear. But at some point, the green creed began to dictate that all species were equal to humans.
Where are the animal rights people now? Wyoming
tribe gets OK to kill 2 bald eagles for ceremonies. In a rare and potentially landmark decision, a
Wyoming Indian tribe has received federal approval to kill two bald eagles for religious ceremonies, the Associated
Press reports. The Northern Arapaho Tribe had sued the government last year, arguing its members' religious
freedom was being violated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's refusal to issue a "take" permit. Federal law
prohibits killing a bald eagle, the national bird. Eagle feathers and body parts are kept in a federal
repository for tribal religious ceremonies.
Trying to 'Stop the
Bleeding' from Environmental Overreach. Central California Republicans — and farmers across
the state — won a small victory last night in a House committee in a battle that has seen scores of communities
devastated by environmental regulatory overreach. The Delta smelt is a tiny fish that lives is the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley River Delta. In response to the fish's threatened status, influenced
by its sensitivity to environmental conditions and the large-scale pumping operations necessary to send
water south, a 2007 court order citing the Endangered Species Act severely cut back water deliveries through
the agricultural Central Valley.
SoCal Water Agencies Sue Feds
over Sucker Fish. Twelve Southern California water agencies are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service for expanding critical habitat areas for the Santa Ana sucker fish. The water agencies say there
is a lack of scientific evidence to justify Fish and Wildlife's decision.
Sea Otters Ignore Government's
'No-Otter' Zone. Long valued for their thick, luxurious fur, sea otters were hunted to near-extinction
during the 1800s. The otters were, in fact, believed to be extinct during the early 1900s, until a colony of
approximately 50 was discovered in the 1930s in central California near Monterey Bay. The sea otter population
gradually expanded during the twentieth century, but the otters remain a threatened species on the Endangered
Dodo of the Year.
Good news: It is not a felony if a bird happens to land on your property and dies. At least not yet.
That's the ruling out of North Dakota, where a federal court last week dismissed a complaint by the Obama Justice
Department against three oil companies under the Migratory Bird Act.
Government control of trees on private property: $1.6 million fine
for cutting down trees. A Florida couple was fined $1.6 million for cutting down mangrove
trees on their property without proper state and city permits. Roger and Myrna Byrd of Jupiter removed
109 mangroves, a tree Florida has protected since 1985, in late 2010, The Palm Beach Post reported
No Credibility on Energy. One of the less known issues that hampers the development of energy in the West is
that of endangered species. ... A look at the map of areas being considered for Sage Grouse habitat shows areas in which
Sage Grouse have not been seen in over a decade, but is considered as "suitable". There is also land in northeastern
Utah being evaluated as to whether or not it is suitable for the Mexican Wolf. Mexican Wolf? I didn't even know
they had wolves in Mexico, let alone that they are capable of migrating almost to Wyoming. ... With 300 species about
to be added to the Endangered List in the United States, and the potential for any given stretch of land to be listed
as suitable for them, and thus off-limits to energy companies, there is practically no end to the roadblocks that could
be used to thwart development.
The Editor says... Obviously the ESA is "used to thwart development." Development means capitalism, and environmentalism
is vigorously opposed to capitalism. The animals are mere pawns: They are used for emotional appeal in the
superficial news media. The actual endangerment of the 300 additional species is quesionable, since many of these animals
are indistinguishable from their cousins. And even if the Wyoming
Mexican Wolf is wiped out, people are more important than animals. For centuries, civilized countries have marvelled
at the veneration of (sacred) cows in India, but in the United States, in the last 50 years, we have begun to place an
exaggerated value on every toad and bug and scavenger in the wild west.
Power Administration's (BPA) Wind Issue. While many system operators have been forced to draw
upon fossil fuel back-up units when power is most needed because wind was not available, BPA has had to deal
with too much wind power conflicting with its hydroelectric generation of renewable electricity. To
balance supply and demand, BPA displaced nearly 100,000 megawatt hours of wind energy between May 18
and July 10 of this year  (over 5 percent of the amount produced by wind power connected to its
grid) in favor of hydroelectric power in order to protect the salmon in the Columbia River. While BPA
could have reduced the power output of its hydroelectric dams by routing excess water through a spillway, it
chose not to because BPA believed it would have violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Water passing over a spillway picks up nitrogen gas, which is harmful to salmon.
More information (none of it favorable)
about wind energy.
Park Service has new land-grabbing tool. Big Green has an unlikely new sales pitch to convince
Congress to fund ever-expanding land grabs by the National Park Service — save wildlife migration.
A map overlay showing all the U.S. wildlife migration paths would blot out nearly half the nation — a
very clever diagram for empire-building bureaucrats. The obscure but well-heeled Wildlife Conservation
Society (2010 assets $764 million) unveiled the idea last week in "Spectacular Migrations in the Western
U.S.," a 45-page report on the purportedly urgent need for a widespread network of wildlife migration corridors
to avert countless extinctions.
Green's endangered species money machine. Karen Budd-Falen is a fifth-generation rancher in Wyoming.
She's also a strong-minded lawyer who tracks millions in legal fees paid to Big Green environmental groups by federal
agencies in lawsuits to save endangered species — and she makes the records public. They show
that the Endangered Species Act has been hijacked by those same Big Green groups that use it in the courts as
an ideological weapon against development — and to enrich themselves. Stories of such things
as wind farm projects thwarted by a field mouse are no longer uncommon, but investigations of how environmental
lawyers turn the ESA into a private money machine are almost nonexistent. Budd-Falen has pioneered that
niche with high-detail profiles.
Do Lighting Standard Delays Threaten Consumer
Choice? When considered carefully, the lighting efficiency standard contains a paradox: It
has had the effect of multiplying consumer choice, but by means of a mechanism that will actually limit choice,
once it is fully implemented. Nor is this just a US concern. One reason we're seeing so many new
lighting technologies on store shelves is that incandescent lights are being phased out in much of the developed
world. As shown in Exhibit 17 of a recent report by McKinsey & Company, the phaseout of incandescent
lighting is even farther along in the EU and Japan, with Russia and Brazil also winding down sales of these
Environmentalists Block Fire Retardant use to Protect
Wildlife. Nearly 47 million acres of American forests are now off-limits to slurry drops to
fight fires because of a successful lawsuit by environmentalists who say the retardant kills fish and endangered
species. The Forest Service decision that was due before Dec. 31 says the new directions for the
use of the fire retardant will help them protect water sources as well as plant and wildlife.
Not every "extinct" species really is extinct. Bumblebee boffins rediscover
long-vanished species. Scientists have rediscovered an extremely rare species of bumblebee in
the US, which hasn't been seen since 1956. The find has prompted a lot of excitement due to the concern
about bee species disappearing around the world.
Another example: 'Extinct'
Galapagos Tortoise Turns Up on Distant Island. A type of giant tortoise, observed in the Galapagos
Islands in 1853 by Charles Darwin but thought to have been extinct for 150 years, is apparently alive and
well. This news, from a team of biologists at Yale University, would be welcomed by conservationists, and
it adds an ironic twist to Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
Inconvenient Truth about Species Extinction. "Overall, species loss is now occurring at a rate
1,000 times greater than the natural background rate," says Al Gore in the Academy Award-winning
documentary An Inconvenient Truth. ... To illustrate the vacuousness of comparing modern extinction rates
to the so-called background extinction rate, we need only to apply Gore's "1,000 times" claim to some hard
data, which we can find in a recently published paper in the journal Diversity and Distributions. The
authors of this paper analyzed the "actual historical record of extinctions" and found that a total of
190 birds and land-dwelling mammals have gone extinct since the year 1500.
applauds dunes sagebrush lizard ruling. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said Thursday he is
pleased with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to delay a ruling of whether the dunes sagebrush lizard
should be placed on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will need more
data before determining if the lizard, which resides in the Permian Basin, is endangered.
Ethics: Safer to Be a Golden-Winged Warbler than a Baby Human. With his finger firmly on the
pulse of what is most concerning to Americans, the president has announced that he will soon be extending
endangered species status (and the requisite mountain of rules and regulations that accompany the designation)
to a list of over 500 plant and animal species. And besides being great news for the soon-to-be-protected
slow-moving Gopher tortoise, this move will undoubtedly benefit a national economy already stunted by oppressive
bureaucratic micromanagement. One can fairly imagine how much easier life is about to get for the people of
Hawaii, for instance, when they receive new federal guides on how to identify the 99 new native plants
they must avoid trampling or trimming.
Delta Water Rules Smelt of Extremism.
If you want to understand the fundamental things wrong with our nation and California, in particular, you
ought to peruse the 140-page opinion recently issued by Judge Oliver Wanger in the "Consolidated Delta Smelt
Cases." It describes many of the most frustrating elements in our society — abuses of federal authority,
bureaucratic micromanagement of our lives and political zealotry masquerading as science. The case also
shows the indifference to the insanity by most Americans, who wouldn't know a Delta smelt from a cod fillet.
Number of Sea Turtles Counted in Texas. A record number of nests of endangered Kemp's Ridley sea
turtles has been counted along the Texas Gulf Coast this year, putting to rest fears that last year's BP Gulf
oil spill would further jeopardize the endangered turtles.
Administration Expanding the Reach of ESA. With a Friday [7/30/2011] deadline to act on more
than 700 pending cases, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service already has issued decisions advancing more
than 500 species toward potential new protections under the Endangered Species Act.
questions honesty of Interior Department Scientists. U.S. District Court judges aren't known for
using inflammatory language in deciding the weighty issues that come before them on the federal bench.
So it was remarkable to read the scorching indictment of a federal environmental agency and two of its
scientists last week by Judge Oliver W. Wanger. The case concerns how the government should manage
California water supplies and at the same time seek to preserve the delta smelt, an allegedly endangered species
of minnow-like fish.
may declare an extremely rare manzanita endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
proposes the status for the Franciscan manzanita, only one example of which is believed to be growing
in the wild. ... The manzanita, also known as Arctostaphylos franciscana, was believed to be
extinct until 2009, when a sharp-eyed botanist saw the lonely plant on a traffic island in the middle
of a busy highway, part of a major construction project near the Golden Gate Bridge.
America is Under Attack.
As early as 1946, the left began a strategy to use people's concern for the environment to impose
government control over land use. They tricked people into accepting laws that on the surface
appeared designed to protect some aspect of the environment, but always, with vague or ambiguous
language, or clauses hidden deep within the legalese and gobbledygook, gave government the power
to regulate and control our property, our businesses, and our lives. Today, we see this
manifest in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the totally
misnamed Environmental Protection Agency.
A reptile messes with
Texas. A five-inch reptile has enough power in its tiny claws to hurl thousands of Americans into
unemployment lines. It shows how the greenie Obama administration places a higher value on sand-dune lizards
than it does on domestic energy production and jobs. Federal bureaucrats with the Fish and Wildlife Service
want to put this critter, also known as the dunes sagebrush lizard, on the Endangered Species List.
Keystone Pipeline Affects Endangered Beetle, Says State Dep't. In its Final
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create
thousands of jobs and transport 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Oklahoma and Texas,
a State Department official said its investigation found "no significant impact to most resources"
along the path of the 1,700-mile project. But the State Department also said the pipeline
could adversely affect the American Burying Beetle, an endangered species.
The Editor says...
When gas is $10 a gallon, nobody will care about the welfare of any stinkin' beetle.
Expose Inside Job Behind Endangered Species Scam. History tells us that listing a critter as
an endangered species does little for the species and can do a great deal of harm to the local economies —
the spotted owl and the delta smelt are two oft-cited cases. But there is not a big body of evidence showing
how these listing decisions were made. It was just assumed that the species plight warranted protection.
But that was before the listing proposal for the dunes sagebrush lizard threatened a large segment of U.S. domestic
oil production and the economies of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.
All for the sake of the Delta Smelt. California's
water wars. California's water wars aren't about scarcity. Even with 37 million
people and the nation's most irrigation-intensive agriculture, the state usually has enough water for both
people and crops, thanks to the brilliant hydrological engineering of past Californians. But now there
is a new element in the century-old water calculus: a demand that the state's inland waters flow as
pristinely as they supposedly did before the age of dams, reservoirs and canals.
Welfare of pronghorn still trumps border enforcement.
As I reported back in February, the Interior Department has been using a 1964 environmental law to block
the Border Patrol from building communications towers along the southwestern border in Arizona. The
towers are part of a virtual fence that would be used to intercept illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and
human traffickers who are increasingly using protected federal wilderness areas to sneak over the border.
Five months later, nothing's changed.
The Greens Just Love Us to Death.
[Scroll down] Nor have Greens given up on the Endangered Species Act which has not truly saved any species in
the course of spending billions to protect, for example, a spotted owl that needed no protection whatever or
gray wolves that were doing quite well in Canada and Mexico when not wandering across our borders. What the
ESA did accomplish, however, was to thwart all manner of development, whether it was a new hospital or the
irrigation of farms rumored to grow crops people wanted to eat. The latest proposed use of the ESA is
to shut down one of the most productive oil reserves in the U.S. to protect a lizard!
Lizard Controversy in W. Texas, New
Mexico Oil Patch. [Scroll down to page 9] A three-inch-long, sand-dwelling lizard threatens
one of the nation's most prolific oil-producing regions. The dunes sagebrush lizard may soon be added to
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's (FWS) Endangered Species List, a development that is looked upon with horror
by many residents of the oil-rich Permian Basin in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. If the lizard
is added to the list, the Endangered Species Act will impose on the 17-county Permian Basin severe land-use
restrictions that will curtail oil exploration and drilling.
Chesapeake Crab Population Continues
Its Recovery. [Scroll down to page 7] Despite a harsh winter this year, the Chesapeake
Bay's blue crab population continues to make a comeback, government wildlife officials report. This
year's annual winter dredge survey showed the blue crab population at its second-highest level since 1997,
well above its target for a third year in a row. The survey estimated 461 million blue crabs currently
in the bay. That's nearly double figures for 2007, when population outlooks were bleak.
lawmakers take aim at Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act has long had its
foes, particularly in the West. But in recent months, the law has taken an unprecedented hit from
Congress. Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, successfully used a budget bill signed
into law by the president to return to the states of Idaho and Montana the ability to manage their wolf
[The obscure dunes sagebrush] lizard, supposedly dying out, has a habitat that stretches across southeastern
New Mexico and west central Texas, smack-dab in the middle of the longest-exploited and most productive oil
field in America, the Permian Basin field. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to get this
lowly lizard listed as an endangered species, claiming that oil and gas development is ruining the lizard's
habitat. Of course, if the feds declare this banal reptile "endangered," all drilling companies in the
affected area will immediately come under the iron fist of the Fish and Wildlife Service, which will demand
that they work without "harming" the habitat (viz., sand dunes) of the mundane creature. Fish and Wildlife
will accordingly threaten the drillers with massive fines for disturbing those dunes. By the way, nobody
knows the size of this repellant reptile's population to begin with, which raises the question of how exactly
we know that it is endangered.
Salazar's War On Jobs. The
plight of the prairie chickens, smelt fish and dunes sagebrush lizards is not just a policy cause for
environmentalists anymore, but the weapon of choice in a war on jobs by the Obama Administration, say
critics in Congress. The policies in effect at the Interior Department, now led by Secretary Ken
Salazar, are supposed to protect endangered species against certain annihilation. But they're also
turning farmlands into dust bowls and running oil and gas development off the land, out of the water and
out of the country.
Environmentalism vs. Border Control: A Complex
Battle of Survival. Federal agents must abandon their vehicles and chase drug smugglers and
illegal aliens on foot through 40 acres near the Mexican border because of a pond that is home to the
endangered desert pupfish. It's part of the agreement between the Homeland Security and Interior
departments on how best to protect the ecosystem, frustrating lawmakers who say it also prevents agents
from conducting routine patrols.
Targeted by the EPA.
A three-inch lizard scuttled into the spotlight in December after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed
moving it onto the Endangered Species List. The dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat covers just eight counties
on the Texas-New Mexico border, right in the heart of the Permian Basin, a major oil-producing region.
Particularly in Texas, industry leaders and local businesses see the action as hostile — another
Obama administration environmental policy targeting their successful, energy-sparked economy.
Delta smelt refuse to die in pumps. In Tracy, California, where the massive California Water
Project pumps stand ready to move up to 15,450 cubic feet of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water southward
every single second, it's been a busy spring. The pumps have been a mere shadow of their old selves
ever since U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger began ratcheting them down in 2007 in response to
environmentalist lawsuits brought under the auspices of the Delta smelt.
Listing of lizard may shut down Texas oil.
You can't make this up. First, a Spotted Owl destroyed the timber industry of the Pacific Northwest,
then a minnow turned the most productive agricultural land in the world into a dustbowl, and now, as energy
prices spike and the economy sputters, they're going after Texas with a scurrilous reptile. Specifically,
the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
A Lizard Stop West Texas Oil? After the harm done by the spotted owl and delta smelt, the listing
of a tiny reptile as endangered may be the latest salvo in the war on domestic energy.
Meet the sand dune lizard.
He's also known as the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard; this endearing little critter is native to the American
Southwest. Specifically, eastern New Mexico and West Texas. ... You see, the favored habitat of the
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard also happens to be a favored habitat of the Domestic Production Crude Oil Rig:
the US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to declare the former to be an endangered species, and you know just
how this story ends, right?
tortoises delay Mojave Desert solar plant. The Obama administration has halted the building of
two-thirds of a massive solar project in San Bernardino's Mojave Desert as a new federal assessment found
that more than 600 endangered desert tortoises would die as a result of construction.
Runaway Trains of Bureaucracy.
Government programs succeed through failure. A program that actually "solved" whatever
problem prompted its creation would be wiped out. A bureaucrat who runs a tight ship, and brings his
operation in under budget, will be "rewarded" with a smaller budget. Every single organ of our federal
government is working tirelessly to solve a problem that is much worse than originally anticipated,
and therefore requires increased funding. When was the last time you heard of a big federal program
that was shut down ahead of schedule and under budget, because it completed its mission?
Of Green. The green lobby assured everyone it knew what it was doing when it got a judge to cut
water to Central Valley farmers to save the delta smelt. But while the Valley economy is now ruined, it
hasn't helped the smelt.
Big Green at the trial lawyer game. "Congress intended endangered species to be afforded the
highest of priorities." That 1978 Supreme Court decision in the notorious snail darter case stopped
Tennessee's $100 million Tellico Dam. Thereafter, the Endangered Species Act would trump all
else. The ESA is not about plants and animals despite its name. It's about habitat — that's
land and water, public or private. Harm habitat in your own backyard and under ESA's Section 11(b)
you could get a year in federal prison and a $50,000 fine for each violation.
Save the Fish, Starve the Humans.
Saving a two-inch "endangered" fish has cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in California 's Central Valley
and turned parts of it, some of the most productive agricultural land in the U.S., into a dust bowl. ... University
of California (Davis) Prof. Peter Moyle started the Save the Delta Smelt campaign. The professor admits
that the smelt has no commercial value, that its life cycle is just one year, and that, even in optimal conditions,
it's prone to extinction anyway. Nonetheless, it must be saved at any cost. That's the mandate of
the Endangered Species Act. Moyle was successful in convincing the EPA to list the Delta Smelt as endangered
in 1993. Several court cases later, the obscene cost of saving a fish the professor says has only been
in the Sacramento River delta for 8,000 to 10,000 years is now apparent.
reaches record numbers. Biologists with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
counted 4,840 manatees during their annual survey in January, by far a record for the once-endangered
species. The high count is especially encouraging in view of the record number of manatee deaths
resulting from cold weather last year — a total of 767 were recorded dead statewide.
Obama's war on
the private sector continues. On Dec. 14, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the dunes
sagebrush lizard "faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities and herbicide treatments."
As a result, it proposes that the lizard be listed as "endangered" — under the Endangered Species
Act — which starts the clock for a 60-day public comment period. Hoping no one would notice, the
FWS announced the proposal during the throes of the holiday season. We the public need to take notice.
Can a State
Bypass the EPA? In 2010, the EPA granted exactly two new coal mining permits in West Virginia.
There are fifty outstanding permits, because according to the EPA, bugs are more important than jobs.
Mayfly populations are disrupted when coal companies dig beneath the surface of the earth, which the EPA says
affects the amount of food and thus the populations of indigenous fish. Other research has indicated that
as soon as those bugs leave, other ones take their place, and fish populations are unaffected. As the
result of this standoff, coal cannot expand in Appalachia, and some of the highest paying jobs in the state
Comes The Sun. Government will shut off water to farmers to protect a 3-inch bait fish for
ecological reasons. Yet it has no problem uprooting a threatened species to make room for a trendy
green energy project.
human balance needed for the environment. Everybody wants clean air and water. Everybody
wants to conserve America's abundant natural resources. ... But who wants to turn one of the world's most
fertile farming regions, an area that long fed millions of Americans and provided jobs for countless workers,
into an arid wasteland, all on behalf of a small fish?
Manmade famine in
America. It seems inconceivable, but people in America are going hungry en masse due to a
famine caused by political authorities. Fresno, California is not yet a sister city of Kiev, Ukraine,
but the two cities, capitals of rich agricultural regions, share a history of mass hunger caused by central
governments indifferent to the suffering of their people, in the pursuit of ideological goals.
from the dead: One third of 'extinct' animals turn up again. Conservationists are
overestimating the number of species that have been driven to extinction, scientists have said. A study
has found that a third of all mammal species declared extinct in the past few centuries have turned up alive
and well. Some of the more reclusive creatures managed to hide from sight for 80 years only to
reappear within four years of being officially named extinct in the wild.
releases climate strategy for plants, wildlife. The Obama administration Monday [9/27/2010]
released a strategy for assessing the effects of climate change on at-risk plants and wildlife. The U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service strategy sets out a plan for prioritizing research and its response to climate change,
calling for a coordinated effort by federal agencies, states and conservation groups to identify the most
red fox could ignite endangered species battle. The rarely seen Sierra Nevada red fox could be
the next candidate for federal protection, and perhaps political controversy, now that one has been photographed
prowling near Sonora Pass, Calif. California state law currently covers the fox. The federal
Endangered Species Act does not.
First, Security Second? Every nation has a right to protect its borders, and our commander in
chief has a duty to protect ours. Refusal to do so for political reasons is unconscionable. Our
border states should not remain exposed to the escalating violence of a Mexican drug war that has already
claimed the life of one Arizona rancher. The murderers of Robert Krentz escaped to a protected
pronghorn antelope area that the Interior Department of Secretary Ken Salazar had placed off limits to U.S.
border patrol agents in order to protect endangered species.
Buying Votes With Water:
The water spigots are back on, at least temporarily, in California's Central Valley. Turned off to protect a
tiny fish, they happen to be in the districts of two congressmen "undecided" on health care reform.
Water for Votes and Other Atrocities.
Obama has now joined the likes of all other despots who have ever walked and practiced their tyrannies upon planet
Earth. ... Obama turned off the spigots in California's Central Valley in order to destroy crops, fruit trees,
farmers' livelihoods etc. in that once extremely fertile and productive area and to give him a large hammer
to use against all of us who eat food and drink water. Obama affected this by design and on purpose first
and foremost to observe whether or not he could get away with it...
On Earth Day,
Did You Thank a Hunter? Ten cents of every dollar I spent on my hunting and fishing toys funds Federal
and State "conservation" programs. From my guns and ammo to my duck calls and decoys, from my rods and reels to
my lures and gaffs, from my trolling motor to the very fuel for my outboard — ten cents of every dollar in
this ghastly expenditure funds habitat for Spotted Owls, Red Cockaded Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Manatees,
Snail darters, Black-Footed Ferrets, California Condors, Florida Panthers and Sea Otters.
Spends $1.25M to Save 250 Squirrels. Arizona is spending $1.25 million to build bridges
for endangered squirrels over a mountain road so they don't become roadkill and then monitor their health.
The money is being spent, officials said, because cars kill about five of these squirrels each year.
The next day... Arizona
Cancels $1.25M Bridge for 250 Squirrels. Arizona abruptly canceled plans today [6/18/2010] to
spend $1.25 million to build bridges for a colony of 250 squirrels so they would not have to cross
a rural road and could avoid becoming road kill. John Halikowski, director of Arizona's Department of
Transportation, halted the bridge project that was being paid for with federal highway funds. "ADOT
will not spend funds simply because they are available," he said in a statement.
In Pursuit of Death.
Over the last two decades, activists in the news media and popular culture have managed to mainstream radical
environmentalism, leading to a "green veto" over the use of natural resources, as well as land and development
policy for the nation. Major projects are routinely halted over dubious claims of damage to habitats or
endangered species. The costs of EPA-mandated impact studies alone are daunting enough to nix needed
projects before they begin. Environmentalism is no longer just a collection of disaffected youth, misguided
conservationists, and touchy-feely, back-to-nature types; this once-harmless eccentricity has unveiled a dark
Grape Growing Collides With Fish Protection in
California. Grape growers in Northern California's cool, fertile Sonoma County wine region are
stomping mad at a new plan to limit the amount of water vineyards can pump from local rivers and streams to
protect crops from frost — a proposed regulation meant to safeguard coho salmon, a species on the
brink of local extinction.
Green Termites. Under
the surface and out of the spotlight, green termites are busily chewing away at the foundations of our
capitalist economy. Environmental activists have flooded the system with mass petitions for endangered
species listing ... In June 2007, a petition was filed with Fish and Wildlife's New Mexico office to review
475 species, and in July 2007, a separate petition was filed with the Denver office to review 206 species.
The petition for each species must be researched and reviewed, requiring enormous amounts of time and resources
for mass applications.
Where Are The Corpses?
The record of continental (as opposed to island) bird and mammal extinctions in the last five centuries was
analyzed to determine if the "species-area" relationship actually works to predict extinctions. Very few
continental birds or mammals are recorded as having gone extinct, and none have gone extinct from habitat reduction
alone. No continental forest bird or mammal is recorded as having gone extinct from any cause.
flooded with endangered species requests. When WildEarth Guardians filed two petitions in the
space of a month to list 681 species under the Endangered Species Act, it came as a shock to biologists
at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Organizations normally seek protection for just one animal or
plant at a time. The Center for Native Ecosystems, another group active in petitioning under the
Endangered Species Act, has filed requests involving 27 species over the last 10 years.
needs should come first in environmental policy. Ever hear of the Yellowstone Sand Verbena? ... Or
how about the Meltwater Lednian Stonefly, which is only found in Glacier National Park in Montana? That
one will be gone by 2030, thanks to global warming, assuming global warming is a reality, as claimed by some
scientists. Or it may be frozen by the new little ice age predicted by other scientists. These are
two of 29 species — including 20 plants, six snails, two insects and a fish — the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service says may require federal actions to avoid extinction under the Endangered Species Act.
killing us softly with laws and red tape. For the past 20 years, I have advised landowners,
homebuilders and energy companies on the intricacies of the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.
Both are complex statutes supplemented by dense volumes of regulations and administered by confusing agencies
that have state and local counterparts applying state and local versions of the similar laws and rules.
The costs of these regulatory regimes are enormous, but dimly, if at all, understood by the public. The
highest-sounding rhetoric surrounds both laws, but, even as they accomplish important environmental goals,
they also operate to batter tens of thousands of Americans every year.
Is A Species? The U.S. red wolf known as Canis rufus has been the subject of an enormous project to save it
from extinction. Meanwhile, Canadian scientists argue that Canis rufus is just an isolated southern population of
Canis lycaon, a Canadian wolf that is not endangered.
Playing God with "Endangered" Species.
Let's get to the nitty-gritty of the Endangered Species Act. Originally adopted in 1973, the framers of the Act
wanted to protect species believed to be on the brink of extinction. This is a noble idea, but 99% of all species
that have existed on Earth are extinct. At some point or other, Nature steps in to kill them off. This is
why there are no dinosaurs around except in Steven Speilberg movies and animated documentaries. Despite ample
evidence that the Act is a great waste of time and money, Congress has been funding the ESA ever since the first
109 species were listed.
Habitat and Humanity. If
there is a Don Quixote of federal laws, it is the Endangered Species Act (ESA): For over three
decades this law's regulations have endangered the species in distress that they are endeavoring
The Endangered Species Act.
Once on the list, it is nearly impossible for a species to be taken off. Very few species (only 31) have ever made it
off the list. For example, although the bald eagle has been flourishing in recent years (three have been spotted in the
Washington, D.C. area alone), the Department of the Interior (DOI) has not taken the eagle off the list because environmental
groups have lobbied to keep the bird on the list. DOI succumbs to such pleas, even when species is no longer endangered.
The 1,232 species on the list have more rights than property owners.
Warm Thoughts on Cold
Weather. Animal adaptations to cold are nothing short of amazing. Take, for example, certain
species of frogs that spend the winter frozen. These are not frogs that are chilled, but truly frozen.
Pick them up, and they are hard and cold. Ice crystals form between their cells and throughout their
body cavities. They appear to be dead, but they are known to hop away after overwintering with body
temperatures below 18 degrees.
Man-Made Drought. California has a new endangered species on its hands in the San Joaquin
Valley -- farmers. Thanks to environmental regulations designed to protect the likes of the three-inch
long delta smelt, one of America's premier agricultural regions is suffering in a drought made worse by
Failure to Help May Spring from Racism. Why are the communities of Fresno County suffering so
deeply? Because in December 2008, the federal government decided that Fresno County, a farming-rich area
which provides half of America's vegetables, no longer needed water. The farmers whose ancestors built
the canals to irrigate the Central Valley have been totally cut off from their water supply, even though
they're still paying bills for it. Hundreds of acres of prime farming land lie fallow, crops withered
and dead. All because the federal government thinks that smelt — tiny 5- to 7-centimeter
fish — are more important than human beings.
vs. fish for California water. Supporters of California agriculture called on the Obama
administration and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday to lift water restrictions that were
imposed to protect the endangered delta smelt, saying the fish is putting farmers out of business.
Manmade famine in
America. It seems inconceivable, but people in America are going hungry en masse due to a
famine caused by political authorities. Fresno, California is not yet a sister city of Kiev, Ukraine,
but the two cities, capitals of rich agricultural regions, share a history of mass hunger caused by central
governments indifferent to the suffering of their people, in the pursuit of ideological goals.
Zimbabwe. Fresno, California, stands as the de facto capital of California's mighty Central
Valley, the breadbasket of America. ... Yet far from being a paradise, Fresno is starting to resemble Zimbabwe
or 1930s Ukraine, a victim of a famine machine that is entirely man-made, not by red communists this time, but
by greens. State and federal officials, driven by the agenda of environmental extremists, have made it
extremely difficult for the valley's farms, introducing costly environmental regulations and cutting off critical
water supplies to save the Delta smelt, a bait fish. It's all driving the economy to collapse.
of Endangered Species Law Approved. Setting the stage for the most sweeping restructuring
of endangered species protections in three decades, the House Resources Committee yesterday approved
legislation that would strengthen the hand of private property owners and make it harder for federal
officials to set aside large swaths of habitat for imperiled plants and animals.
The Endangered Species Act is
Out of Control. Is a salmon born in a hatchery a different species from the same
salmon born in the wild? It is hard to believe, but recent Federal court rulings are
claiming that otherwise genetically identical fish are separate species, forcing an appeal
being announced recently to the 9th Circuit Court. Two court decisions in the last two
months show how much is at stake in these questions.
Nature, Not Man, is
Responsible for West Coast Salmon Decline. Seattle now has the dubious distinction of being
the first large city to come under the strict regulatory scrutiny of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Listing these salmon as endangered is certain to inflict significant harm on the region's economy, causing
billions of dollars in losses for a broad range of industries including those involved with timber, housing,
recreation and agriculture, among others. Additionally, the listings will force federal, state and local
governments to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a multitude of salmon-restoration programs that will
require increases in taxes for such basic services as water and sewer.
Record Numbers of Salmon, Steelhead
Pour into Columbia River. Salmon and steelhead migrated into the Columbia River in record
numbers this year, in some cases more than doubling previous records. On August 13 a new
single-day steelhead record was set for the third day in a row at the Bonneville Dam on the Lower
Center for Biological
Diversity Declares Legal War on Global Warming U.S. Economy. The CBD, the folks who
successfully petitioned and sued the Fish & Wildlife Service to list the polar bear as a threatened species under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA), announced last week the opening of a new Climate Law Institute (CLI) that will "use
existing laws and work to establish new state and federal laws that will eliminate energy generation by the burning of
fossil fuels — particularly coal and oil shale." CBD says it has dedicated an "initial $17 million"
to the project.
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ESA
Listing Exceeds Federal Power. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Interstate
Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government authority to regulate Alabama sturgeon
under the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit contending the federal government overstepped its bounds in
seeking to regulate Alabama sturgeon was filed by attorneys with the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), an
organization that litigates on behalf of property owners against government overreach.
Fed rule halts red snapper
fishing. Come Jan. 4, better throw back that red snapper, at least in federal waters.
Having one onboard will be illegal. Federal regulators announced an interim rule Thursday [12/3/2009]
that bans commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper in federal waters off Florida, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia on the Atlantic coast.
Environmentalists sue to protect California
delta fish. Environmentalists want to reverse a 2003 decision by the Bush administration that
eliminated federal protection for a small California fish. A complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District
Court in San Francisco says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ignored findings that the Sacramento splittail
population was declining.
hits Pelosi for mouse funds. The tiny mouse that became a hotly disputed symbol of wasteful
spending in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill has returned to pester House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Obama administration revealed last week that as much as $16.1 million from the stimulus program is going to
save the San Francisco Bay Area habitat of, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.
overturns Bush administration change to rule protecting spotted owl habitat. A federal judge has
struck down the Bush administration's change to a rule designed to protect the northern spotted owl from
logging in national forests. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled from Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday [6/30/2009]
that the U.S. Forest Service failed to take a hard look at the environmental impacts of changing the rule to
make it easier to cut down forest habitat of species such as the spotted owl and salmon on 193 million
acres of national forests.
The Coming of
the Fourth American Republic. The appropriations committees and their pork barrels are the most obvious
example of rule by special interest, but not always the most important. Whole departments are dedicated to special
interests — Labor, Education, Energy. Money is important, but regulation is every bit as useful,
especially because regulations can shift property rights from third parties without going through the budget process.
For example, environmentalists successfully combined a vaguely worded Endangered Species Act with control of the Fish and
Wildlife Service to shift the costs of their no-development ethic onto random land-owners, regardless of costs, benefits,
Blue whales returning to former
Alaska waters. Blue whales are returning to Alaska in search of food and could be re-establishing
an old migration route several decades after they were nearly wiped out by commercial whalers, scientists say.
The endangered whales, possibly the largest animals ever to live on Earth, have yet to recover from the worldwide
slaughter that eliminated 99 percent of their number, according to the American Cetacean Society. The
hunting peaked in 1931 with more than 29,000 animals killed in one season.
Pelosi's Quandary: Jobs or Cross-eyed
Mosquitoes? Until now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been adamant in insisting that funds from a $25B package
intended for making automobiles more environmentally friendly NOT be used to help bail out the auto industry.
With her crazy liberal perspective, Pelosi has consistently favored the needs of insects and polar bears over
hard-working Americans who need jobs.
lawsuit over polar bears. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled against
an environmental group that had sued the federal government for allowing oil industry activities to occur
in areas that polar bears also use. The bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species
Camera convicted him
but raised battle over privacy. Farmers beware: Big Brother may be watching. Eastern Shore
soybean farmer Steve VanKesteren learned that the hard way when he was charged with taking two red-tailed hawks, a
violation of the federal Migratory Bird Act. The evidence against him was a video recording showing him dispatching
the birds with an ax. Game wardens had put a hidden camera in a tree, pointed at VanKesteren's soybean fields, after
receiving a complaint about protected birds getting caught in predator traps.
The Editor asks...
Where are all those people who were so upset
about domestic surveillance a
few years ago?
wolves to lose endangered status. The Bush administration will remove wolves in Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. Environmentalists hope Obama
will reverse the action, or they'll sue.
revises protections for endangered species. Just six weeks before President-elect Barack
Obama takes office, the Bush administration issued revised endangered species regulations Thursday
to reduce the input of federal scientists and to block the law from being used
to fight global warming. The changes, which will go into effect in about 30 days, were
completed in just four months. But they could take Obama much longer to reverse.
Obama overturns Bush endangered
species rule. President Obama on Tuesday overturned a last-minute Bush administration regulation
that many environmentalists claim weakened the Endangered Species Act. The regulation, issued a few
weeks before George W. Bush left office, made it easier for federal agencies to skip consultations with
government scientists before launching projects that could affect endangered wildlife.
Obama reverses Bush change to Endangered Species
Act. Reversing a last-minute Bush administration rule change, President Barack Obama said
Tuesday [3/3/2009] that he'd require federal agencies to consult with government wildlife experts about
whether new government projects such as highways or dams would harm endangered or threatened species.
Dems' Climate Change Power Grab Hidden in
Spending Bill. Using a massive $410 billion spending bill as a cloak, Democrat leaders in
Congress have been caught attempting to create almost limitless new federal powers to regulate climate change
without any public notice, public comment, or public debate. The provision slipped into this bill would
allow the Department of Interior to regulate all greenhouse gas emissions across the entire country based on
the listing of the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Southern Fence Will Endanger Species Further. The debate over the fence the United States is building along
its southern border has focused largely on the project's costs, feasibility and how well it will curb illegal immigration.
But one of its most lasting impacts may well be on the animals and vegetation that make this politically fraught landscape
laws put gaps in Mexico border security. In the battle on the U.S.-Mexico border, the fight against
illegal immigration often loses out to environmental laws that have blocked construction of parts of the "virtual
fence" and that threaten to create places where agents can't easily track illegal immigrants.
'Survival of the fittest' is thwarted again... Feds: Kill sea lions to
protect salmon. A federal agency recommended killing about 30 sea lions a year at a Columbia
River dam where the marine animals feast on salmon migrating upriver to spawn. By many estimates, the
sea lions devour about 4 percent of spring runs. Fishermen and Columbia River tribes have urged
action for years against the sea lions at Bonneville Dam.
lions' death warrant? Federal officials have called for killing about 30 sea lions near
Bonneville Dam each year to keep them from gobbling a rising share of Northwest salmon that the government
spends millions of dollars to protect. The strategy would authorize state officials to shoot or trap
and then kill as many as 85 California sea lions each year, or as many as necessary so they eat no more than
1 percent of salmon passing through Bonneville Dam.
Group will sue to list walrus as threatened.
A conservation group gave notice Tuesday [5/27/2008] that it will sue to force federal action on a petition to
list the Pacific walrus as a threatened species because of threats from global warming and offshore petroleum
seek drilling halt near sage grouse habitat. Two conservation groups have asked the federal government
to impose new restrictions on oil and gas development in the West to protect the greater sage grouse, a
popular game bird on the decline. Scientists contend sage grouse breeding areas are suffering in the
face of accelerating oil and gas exploration in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and other Western states.
West Nile virus, drought and residential development also have taken a toll on the bird, which is being
considered for the endangered species list.
The Editor points out the obvious...
Here's another possibility to consider: Perhaps the "popular game bird" is on the decline because
people are shooting them, which has nothing to do with the presence of oil wells.
What's Wrong with the Endangered Species Act and How to Fix
It. The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, was designed to recover species to a level
at which they are no longer considered endangered and therefore do not require the Act's protection.
Unfortunately, the law has had the opposite effect on many species. The ESA can severely penalize
landowners for harboring species on their property, and as a result many landowners have rid their property of
the species and habitat rather than suffer the consequences.
Who Pays for the Delhi Sands Fly?
How successful have the Feds been at recovering species? Not very. Since 1973, only 40
species have been removed from the endangered and threatened species list and only 15 of those have been
de-listed because their populations had recovered. The other de-listed species either went extinct
(nine species) or shouldn't have been listed in the first place (16 species). Only about one
percent of listed species have been declared no longer in endangered or threatened by extinction.
Despite this sorry performance, the activist group Endangered Species Coalition hails the ESA as
"one of our nation's strongest environmental laws."
Endangered Species Act Needs
Dose of Sanity. If there is a Don Quixote of federal laws, it is the Endangered
Species Act (ESA): For over three decades this law's regulations have endangered the species
in distress that they are endeavoring to protect. The House last Thursday took
the first step toward injecting a dose of sanity into species recovery efforts by passing the
Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA), a bill that fixes the perverse incentives
in the original legislation that pit property owners against wildlife.
How to Fix the Endangered Species Act: On
average, humans are natural-born animal-lovers, and we quite naturally want to do what we can to protect them and their
habitat. Alas, the Endangered Species Act has never been an effective way to do that. Using the ESA, the
federal government tried to protect endangered species in its usual "command and control" manner, punishing people who
discovered their land harbored a rare and vulnerable animal by imposing restrictions on how the land could be used.
Under the ESA, most folks are better off looking the other way — or worse, finding ways to make the endangered
species leave or "disappear."
Three Things to Know About the Endangered
Species Act: (#2) The Endangered Species Act punishes landowners for good environmental
stewardship. Private property owners who care for their land, and maintain habitat for endangered
species, find themselves subject to severe land use restrictions. This creates a perverse incentive
for landowners to rid their property of species and habitat in an effort to avoid land use restrictions and
potentially devastating losses in property value that accompany them.
Day Highlights Need For Reform. Early last month, Congress passed a resolution designating
[May 11 as] Endangered Species Day. National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Senior Fellow
H. Sterling Burnett suggests the day would be a perfect time to end the perverse incentives that pit
property owners against wildlife.
The Endangered Species Act is a Broken Law.
Just last week, the Endangered Species Act was declared "broken" by the senior Bush Administration official in
charge of overseeing the law's enforcement. This assessment comes as no surprise to anyone knowledgeable
of how the ESA is implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The fact is that "ESA policy" is
often based on politically motivated pressure from eco-activists in the environmental community and within the
and Bears Versus Eskimos and Oil: "A petition seeking Endangered Species Act protection for a
rare loon that breeds in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve has been accepted for review by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service," noted a May 29, 2007 Associated Press article. "Conservationists hope an eventual
listing of the yellow-billed loon will curb petroleum development in the 23-million acre reserve that covers
much of Alaska's North Slope." So, at a time when a $100 barrel of oil makes economies around the world
quiver, the "conservationists" are more interested in a yellow-billed loon than in your ability to drive to
work, pick up the kids at school, or just go anywhere in your car.
Government run amok:
[Scroll down] I realized this a few years ago when I came across a story concerning Taiwanese immigrant Taung
Ming-Lin, a farmer in Kern County, Calif., who was arrested for allegedly running over an "endangered" kangaroo
rat while tilling his own land. His tractor was seized and held for over four months, and he faced a year
in jail and a $200,000 fine. ... As time has passed, it is now clear that what happened to the farmer in Kern
County was not an anomaly, but part of a developing pattern of government invasion of private rights.
Conservation group seeks
protections for Alaska ribbon seals in effort to protect environment. Frustrated by a lack of
regulations limiting global warming, a conservation group wants ribbon seals listed as threatened or endangered
because their habitat — sea ice — is disappearing amid climate change. The
Center for Biological Diversity on Thursday filed a 91-page petition with the National Marine Fisheries
Service seeking to list ribbon seals as threatened or endangered.
Federal Judge Sides With Desert Tortoise. A
federal judge in San Francisco is refusing to allow cattle grazing and off-road vehicle use on 4-million acres of California desert,
which is set aside as "critical habitat" for the desert tortoise. It is not enough to consider the survival of the desert tortoise,
the judge said in her ruling. She said the Fish and Wildlife Service must also consider "recovery" of the species — boosting
the population, in other words, to the point where it can be removed from the endangered species list.
Editor's Note: That
will probably never happen. Read the next article.
More Specious Species
Claims. Well over 1,000 species have been declared threatened or endangered
since the ESA was enacted in 1973. Since then, only 27 species have been removed
from the list — 27 out of over 1,000. Yet of the 27, seven were delisted
because they went extinct. The Interior Department acknowledges that an additional
nine were "data errors" and never should have been listed in the first place. The
remaining eleven are officially listed as recoveries, yet the ESA cannot be credited with
saving a single one. Those species either never deserved to be listed as endangered,
or recovered due to factors beyond the ESA's control. Thus, in [its first] 25 years,
the ESA failed to recover a single species.
As I have noted on another page, many people take sides
on political issues based on the emotional rhetoric in TV sound bites or catchy bumper stickers, without taking
the time to do a little research and discover the cold hard facts. The notion that "global warming" is
melting polar ice, and that polar bears are thereby endangered, is a work of fiction that is now being used
to restrict business and industry in all 50 states.
The Bear Facts: The International
Union for the Conservation of Nature has just put the polar bear on the endangered species list because it is
supposedly "facing extinction" — mainly, it claims, as a result of global warming. But statistics show
the polar bear is not facing extinction, not by a long shot.
Senate Keeps Focus on
Polar Bear. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said the Department of Interior has been "foot-dragging" on
listing the polar bear as an endangered species and has asked the department's secretary to appear before the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee.
There's no need to 'save' the polar bear.
Environmental groups are pushing to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act,
and the Bush administration is considering their demands. It might make sense — if the polar bear were
endangered. But the worldwide population of these bears has more than doubled since 1965, to an
estimated 20,000-25,000 today. Far from being threatened, by all accounts the bears are thriving.
So what's behind the push to "save" the bears? A desire to ban energy exploration in much of Alaska,
and a threatened species tag is just the ticket to make it happen.
the Endangered Species Act Could Accomplish What Al Gore Couldn't: As I noted a fortnight ago,
the listing of the bear is just the first step in an elaborate dance that will result in the imposition of
extraordinarily expensive and delay-inducing permitting requirements on any industrial or commercial activity
that (1) requires a federal permit of any sort and (2) emits greenhouse gases.
ESA Listing for Polar Bears Unsupported by Sound
Science. "The leftist Center for Biological Diversity conceived abuse of the Endangered Species
Act for creating in the public mind a false crisis over polar bears that will force radical social changes it
has been unable to obtain through the democratic process. The intended outcome is the crippling of the
U.S. economy through fossil fuel starvation, increased dependence on insecure energy sources, and a green path
to serfdom ."
US government sued over
failure to protect polar bears. The US government agency responsible for compiling the country's list of
endangered species will face a new legal challenge today over its failure to protect the polar bear. Environmental
groups are set to sue the Bush administration in a federal court in California, claiming the Fish and Wildlife Service is
now in breach of its own mandate.
Judge says U.S.
must decide whether polar bears are endangered species. A federal judge in Oakland has ordered
the Interior Department to decide by May 15 if the polar bear should be protected as an endangered species
because of melting sea ice due to global warming. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken decided, in a ruling
released today, that government failed to meet the deadline of Jan. 9, a legal requirement under the Endangered
Species Act. She dismissed the Bush administration's plea to give it until June 30, saying officials
offered "no specific facts that would justify the existing delay, much less further delay."
The Editor says...
Notice that all it takes is one federal judge to override our elected officials. That's dangerous.
And really, the polar bears must be dropping like flies if a decision has to be made in a couple of weeks.
Obviously, the judge has bought into Al Gore's "planetary emergency" canard.
Officials say polar bears to be
protected species. The Interior Department has decided to protect the polar bear as a threatened
species because of the decline in Arctic sea ice from global warming, officials said Wednesday [5/14/2008].
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne scheduled a news conference to announce the action. It comes a day
before a court-imposed deadline on deciding whether the bear should be put under the protection of the federal
Endangered Species Act.
Unbearable Legislation. The
decision announced yesterday by the Secretary of the Interior, to list the polar bear as "threatened," removes
all doubt that the Endangered Species Act is broken and in need of urgent repair. It is the environmental
movement that must take responsibility for breaking it. A sensible discussion of the polar bear requires
acknowledging a simple fact: that the polar bear is merely a proxy for something else.
Bear Baloney: The case started
with a lawsuit filed by Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2005. To settle it, the
Fish and Wildlife Service, the Interior division that administers the Endangered Species Act's land-animals
provisions, proposed in December 2006 to list the bears as threatened. The environmental groups argue
that warming will melt sea ice, on which the bears often live, and that this loss of habitat will doom the
bears to extinction. In other words, they don't claim a current threat, but one decades down the
Endangered Values List. Environmentalists have now succeeded in placing the polar bear on the
Endangered Species List despite the fact that, according to The International Union for Conservation of Nature,
their population has almost doubled from 10,000 in 1965 to over 20,000 in 2006. This action will
restrict the production of oil and natural gas in Alaska even further.
March of the Polar Bears.
A preventive war worked out so well in Iraq that Washington last week launched another. The new preventive
war — the government responding forcefully against a postulated future threat — has been
declared on behalf of polar bears, the first species whose supposed jeopardy has been ascribed to global warming.
Sue. The polar bear marks the first species on the "threatened" list whose supposed
predicament is linked directly to global warming. The current Alaskan polar-bear population may be near
an all-time high. But Interior Department computer models — such as they are —
project widespread melting of the polar ice the bears need to hunt. And that's a big problem, given the
near-limitless powers embedded in the Endangered Species Act.
The Carbon Curtain: Czech
President Vaclav Klaus warns that environmentalism is becoming a new totalitarianism. There is still a bear in the
woods, but it's no longer the Russian bear. This time, it's a polar bear.
Bears Endangered — By Greenie Bureaucrats. There [are] roughly twice as many polar bears in the
world today as thirty years ago. But on May 14th U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, invoking the U.S.
Endangered Species Act, proclaimed polar bears as a "threatened species." In 1972 the creatures had already lost value
in the U.S. when the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibited their hunting in Alaska. (And no, it's not the hunting
ban that caused their increased numbers; they proliferated equally in Canada which continued the polar bear season.)
Alaska's 'Frustrated' Governor Palin On Our
'Nonsensical' Energy Policy. We believe that listing polar bears as such is a significant threat to
development, because most live on the North Slope. (But) the biggest problem with the ruling is that we are the only
state that is impacted. Most polar bears (are found) in Canada. We've got other places in the world once again
telling us Alaskans how to live, and whether we can develop. We've coexisted with bears for decades to no detrimental
effect. Our bear population is thriving. This listing is nothing but interference from outsiders who insist on
keeping Alaska from developing our resources responsibly.
group sues over polar-bear listing. The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit Thursday
challenging the Bush administration's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species, the latest
salvo in the debate over global warming and its impact on Arctic wildlife. Reed Hopper, the foundation's
lead attorney on the case, said the polar-bear listing under the Endangered Species Act was the first time
"that a thriving species has been listed based entirely on speculative models forecasting future events."
solution for polar bear strays. Polar bears that drift ashore on Iceland should be shot and not offered a
safe haven, a commission has recommended. The commission was appointed this northern summer after two polar bears
landed on the northern coast of Iceland, apparently after being swept to sea on floes from Greenland, several hundred
kilometres away. Both were shot. However the move sparked protests from conservationists and animal rights
Endangered Specious. Alaska
says it will sue to challenge the listing of polar bears as a threatened species. The designation could block
vital oil and gas development. But that was the whole point in the first place.
Alaska's Polar Bears: Going With The
Floe? The green light given by the Fish and Wildlife Service for oil drilling off Alaska is being portrayed
as an OK to hurt polar bears. But there are so many polar bears, it's the drillers who should worry.
Polar Bear II
Global warming threatens pika, lawsuit claims.
Compared to the polar bear, the American pika is tiny. Weighing only 4 to 6 ounces, this
rabbitlike mammal with thick brown hair, which lives on boulder-covered slopes in Western mountains, could
represent the latest effort to use the Endangered Species Act to combat global warming. Environmentalists
filed a lawsuit Tuesday [8/19/2008] in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to force the Bush administration to
decide whether to list the pika for protection.
The Editor says...
If it really is a "rabbitlike mammal", there should be no shortage of these critters. Once again, it is
my opinion that the environmentalists' don't care so much about cute and furry animals; they are
primarily concerned with strangling capitalism by obstructing every practical source of energy.
The inconvenient truth:
Not all ecophiles are goofballs, but many show considerably less concern for humans than for the kangaroo rat,
the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly and that little darling the snail darter. Radical environmentalism is
often hazardous to your health. That's the inconvenient truth Al Gore ignores.
Construction on a dam in Tennessee that was 95 percent completed had come to a halt because the courts had
ruled it would violate the Endangered Species Act by harming the habitat of the snail darter. Congress voted
in to make an exception to the law, but the Senate vote was actually very close.
pegs cost of species protection in billions. The yearly cost of enforcing the
Endangered Species Act runs into the billions of dollars, not millions as reported to Congress
by government agencies, says an audit released [4/14/2004] by property rights
groups. Despite the estimated $3 billion per year spent, the government
has little to show for its recovery efforts, says the Property and Environment
Research Center, which conducted the study for the Pacific Legal Foundation.
"Endangered Species" Cost USA
Billions. At a time when this nation is engaged in a war, putting the lives
of its soldiers in harm's way to end the threat of Middle Eastern terrorism, it would seem
inconceivable that its government would also be wasting billions to protect some species
of salmon or the shortnose suckerfish. But it is.
This is the report mentioned above: Accounting for
Species: The True Costs of the Endangered Species Act. The report
found "limitations and inaccuracies" in the federal reporting. For example, the only
estimates provided by the Department of Energy are from the Bonneville Power
Administration. Without accurate figures for the costs of the Endangered Species
Act, the ongoing public debate over whether the law is effective will be
a misinformed one.
Lawsuit Targets Government Mouse
Protections. Hurricane victims and other property owners in Perdido Key, Florida, have been
prevented by the new mouse "habitat" regulations from rebuilding after their homes were destroyed by 2004's
Hurricane Ivan. In October, 2006, federal wildlife officials designated 6,200 acres in coastal Alabama
and the Florida Panhandle as additional "critical habitat" for three mice on the Endangered Species Act list,
including the Perdido Key beach mouse.
Using the ESA as a weapon: Developer
says rare flower was a plant. When the sudden appearance of an endangered flower halted a
controversial housing project in the heart of California's wine country, the developer, Scott Schellinger,
suspected he was the victim of a set-up. Now, after calling in experts from the state's fish and game
commission, who have backed his findings, he is claiming that the "discovery" of rare and protected Sebastopol
meadowfoam on the eight-hectare site near San Francisco was the work of opponents who transplanted the flowers
Trouble in Bloom at California Development
Site. Did someone in this wine country town illegally plant an endangered flower to sabotage a
proposed housing development? That is the question at the center of a quarrel folks here have dubbed
Biologist Charged With Destroying Plants.
The Los Angeles City Attorney's office says the former park supervisor cut down non-native plants in one of the
largest coastal wetlands in Southern California, killing a ficus tree and myoporum shrubs. He is facing
six misdemeanor charges that include injuring vegetation without permission. Each count could bring jail
time and thousands of dollars in fines.
["Injuring vegetation without permission"?? Don't forget, it's California.]
ESA Listing Not Needed for Polar Bears.
Many analysts see the proposal to list the polar bear as threatened as not so much about the welfare of the bears
themselves but as an effort to force the Bush administration to adopt regulations to limit greenhouse gas
emissions. … [Steven] Milloy noted, "If the administration admits that the bear is dying due to climate
change, it may be forced to start energy rationing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to comply with the
Endangered Species Act. This is what the environmentalists filing the lawsuit had in mind all along."
Oil Exploration for Polar Bear Listing. Biological Diversity is one of several environmental
groups that has sued the Department of Interior for failing to meet itsdeadline for classifying the polar bear
under the Endangered Species Act by Jan. 9, 2008. If the polar bear is not listed as an endangered
species, [Kassie] Siegel said her group will take the government to court.
The Mouse that Cost the
Economy $100 Million May Never Have Existed. After six years of Endangered
Species Act regulations and restrictions that have cost builders, local governments, and
landowners on the western fringe of the Great Plains as much as $100 million by some
estimates, new research suggests the allegedly endangered Preble's mouse never
existed. Instead, it seems to be genetically identical to a cousin considered
common enough not to need the federal government's protection.
What a relief! Rat-Squirrel Not Extinct
After All. It has the face of a rat and the tail of a skinny squirrel — and
scientists say this creature discovered living in central Laos is pretty special: It's a species
believed to have been extinct for 11 million years.
Biologist withdraws claim of rabbit's
disappearance. A Montana biologist has withdrawn his claim in a recent study that a rabbit species has
disappeared from the Yellowstone area. Joel Berger, a senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said
Thursday [3/6/2008] that he has been contacted by at least six biologists and naturalists refuting his conclusions about
the white-tailed jack rabbit.
may be put on endangered list. The federal government is considering listing loggerhead sea
turtles that live along California's coast and off Hawaii as an endangered species and further protecting
their habitat. Loggerhead turtles everywhere are already classified as "threatened" under the federal
Endangered Species Act, but environmentalists say a higher level of protection is needed.
found: Reports of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker's demise were greatly exaggerated.
Woodpecker Racket: The 2005 reported
sighting of the thought-to-be-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker in eastern Arkansas raised hopes of bird-watchers
everywhere. But a prominent bird expert cast serious doubt on the report in 2006, characterizing it as
"faith-based" ornithology and "a disservice to science." But the debunking may not matter.
Environmental groups used the dubious sighting to convince a federal judge in July 2006 to stop a nearby
$320 million Army Corps of Engineers irrigation project.
Sends a Town Running for Its Chain Saws. Over the past six months, landowners here have been
clear-cutting thousands of trees to keep them from becoming homes for the endangered red-cockaded
woodpecker. The chain saws started in February, when the federal Fish and Wildlife Service put Boiling
Spring Lakes on notice that rapid development threatened to squeeze out the woodpecker. … Hoping to
beat the mapmakers, landowners swarmed City Hall to apply for lot-clearing permits.
Same story: Woodpecker mapping gets chain saws
buzzing. The sharp chirps of the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers and the whine of chain
saws sound discordantly in this coastal community of old pine forests. Since word got around this
spring that owners could face problems selling land or building houses where the birds lived, people have
been rushing to clear undeveloped lots of pine trees and yanking the woodpecker welcome mat.
Halts Project. A federal judge halted a $320 million irrigation project Thursday
[7/20/2006] for fear it could disturb the habitat of a woodpecker that may or may not be extinct. The
dispute involves the ivory-billed woodpecker. The last confirmed sighting of the bird in North America
was in 1944, and scientists had thought the species was extinct until 2004, when a kayaker claimed to have
spotted one in the area. But scientists have been unable to confirm the sighting.
The Editor says...
1944, really? Not so fast!
highlight of 1967 was the discovery, in Texas, of five to ten breeding pairs of ivory-billed
woodpeckers — the first confirmed sighting of this rare bird since 1950. It was believed
extinct, or nearly so, because the hardwood forest that yielded its insect diet was destroyed.
Now, it seems, the bird may be adapting to the insect supply of the more plentiful slash-pine
Arkansas men say the saw
rare woodpecker. Kip Davis and Jay Robison saw what they believed was an ivory-billed woodpecker
on Thursday [12/14/2006], one of thousands of reported sightings piling up as leaves in an east Arkansas
swamp drift down.
Editor's Note: Some articles about
the Ivory-billed Woodpecker celebrate the "return" of the woodpecker after all these years. There's just
one technicality I'd like to point out: Animals do not return from extinction. If the woodpecker is
still around, obviously the experts were wrong! These birds were somewhere for decades, but
nobody saw them. This goes to show that even the experts don't know the whereabouts of every animal,
and can't say with any certainty that any animal this small is
extinct. This page has
information on about 50 rediscovered species that were once thought to be extinct.
$27M Woodpecker Habitat
Plan Unveiled. Federal wildlife officials say spending more than $27 million to research
the suspected habitat of the ivory-billed woodpecker is worth the cost, despite conflicting views on whether
the elusive bird even exists. The agency this week released a 185-page draft plan aimed at preventing
the extinction of the bird.
bird is still the word. August was a good news-bad news month for the ivory-billed woodpecker,
the bird rediscovered in the Big Woods of the Bayou de View in 2004.
great woodpecker hunt: Away down in the swampy bottomlands of Dixie, the most
intensive search ever for a bird is gearing up for a make-or-break season. Big reputations
are riding on the controversial quest for the ivory-billed woodpecker, the most magnificent and
most elusive of America's tree-knockers.
Search for ivory-billed woodpecker to
begin anew. Last year, Allan Mueller thinks he saw the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker. The wildlife
biologist wants to make sure of it this winter. Mueller plans to head back into the swamps of eastern Arkansas with a
scaled-back search team consisting of 26 volunteers and three expert field biologists.
Seen, Eaten. A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being
sold as food at a poultry market, experts say. Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester's buttonquail
was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.
Nudge Fish Closer to Extinction. Scientists trying to study the
endangered Devils Hole pupfish near Death Valley inadvertently nudged the endangered
fish closer to extinction. About 80 of the inch-long silvery pupfish died in
traps set last year in Devils Hole, a limestone cavern about 90 miles northwest of
Las Vegas, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists said.
Another 'extinct' animal makes a
comeback. A duck that was feared to be extinct has been found alive and well in the wild after
zoologists spent 18 years looking for it in the wrong sort of habitat. The Madagascar pochard was
last seen alive in 1991. It had been given up for dead by most ornithologists.
Both Sides Await
Word on Cave Bugs Case. The U.S. Supreme Court could signal as early as today [1/24/2005] whether
it will allow Central Texas cave bugs into its halls of justice, in a case that property rights advocates hope
will gut the Endangered Species Act. A decision by the Supreme Court whether to hear the case … in
a dispute over six species of tiny bugs that have held up a housing and commercial development in Travis County
for the past 17 years.
Florida Adopts New Standards for
Endangered Species Listings: On April 14  the FWCC jettisoned the
state's preexisting means for designating species as being "of special concern," "threatened,"
or "endangered," in favor of international standards that rely on objective data instead of
emotional public relations campaigns.
The mud puddle
preservation plan. When I was a boy growing up in California we called them "mud
puddles." If they grew large enough, grown ups called it "flooding." But now the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which enforces the Endangered Species Act, has adopted
the bogus poetry of the environmentalist left, calling them "vernal pools."
Environmental Regulations Impede Pentagon Readiness. The
nation's ability to prepare troops for the deadly business of combat is being undermined by environmental restrictions being applied
to military bases around the country. Lawsuits brought by such groups as the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural
Resources Defense Council have sought to impose the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammals Protection Act,
and other environmental statutes on military bases. The lawsuits, and the restrictions on training that result from them, have
come in direct conflict with military readiness.
Farmer Fined for Shooting Non-Native Wolf
That Threatened Livestock. North Carolina farmer Richard Mann thought he was shooting a large
dog that was threatening his cattle. But when he came back the next day to bury the animal, he was
confronted by federal wildlife officials who charged him with killing a red wolf — a
federally-protected species. Mann was fined $2,000 and required to perform community service by
building "wolf houses" and feeding the wolves.
Activists Sue to Block ESA Wolf Delisting.
Environmental activist groups have filed suit to block a federal government plan to allow state management of
wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountain region. With gray wolves set to be taken off the Endangered
Species list, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming have developed programs that would allow a limited amount of hunting
designed to keep wolf populations at current levels.
Says Bald Eagles, Gray Wolves No Longer Endangered There. Bald eagles and gray wolves have made
such a dramatic comeback in Michigan that the state's Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is proposing the
two species be removed from the state's Endangered Species List. They would join nine other species under
consideration for removal from the list. Federal authorities have not considered either wolves or eagles
to be endangered in Michigan since 2007.
The Endangered Spices Act: Bad for People, Bad
for Wildlife. Residents of wildfire-prone Riverside County, California were prevented by the
ESA from clearing firebreaks on their land lest they disturb the habitat of the endangered Stephens'
Kangaroo rat. When the inevitable fires came, people's homes and the rat's habitat went
up in flames.
The Endangered Species Act is Not Working and Reforms are
Needed. Only eight out of the more than 1,400 listed species have recovered since the act was
passed in 1973. This is not a success story by any measure. The far-reaching powers vested in
federal agents to control landowners' use of their property have not worked to protect endangered species
and may have had the opposite effect.
The Exotic Species War: In the United
States the public regularly reads anguished stories about the "damage" being caused by alien invaders such as
zebra mussels and purple loosestrife. … In response, Congress passed the National Invasive Species Act
and the executive branch has adopted a National Invasive Species Management Plan aimed at closing our borders
to alien species.
Invasion of Alien Species: How
Severe A Problem? We can never stop this problem, but we can learn to live
with it if we commit ourselves to flexible informed management rather than to panic
regulation and symbolic action. We will make intelligent decisions only when the
debate shifts from the unsupportable notion that "native" is always better to the
all-important question of how we manage change in our natural economy.
Invasive Species: Animal, Vegetable
or Political? What do mute swans, kudzu, red clover, pigs, and starlings have in common? Not
much, except that they are all non-indigenous species — that is, the species does not originate from
within the United States. And that is essentially all they have in common. Yet many government
agencies, lawmakers and environmental special-interest groups would like to clump together the thousands
of these species introduced within our borders and stamp out their existence.
Endangered Species: The
Endangered Species Act, designed to protect rare wildlife and plants, is up for congressional
reauthorization. It requires that species be listed as endangered or threatened solely on
the basis of five scientific considerations. It does not allow consideration of any
economic factors. The Supreme Court has interpreted the act as mandating that efforts
to save a covered species must be undertaken "whatever the cost."
Can Government Really Protect
Our Wildlife? Special interest groups have convinced many Americans that the
ESA has been a great success. At the same time, they have used exaggerated claims of
species extinction to convince the public that the ESA must be strengthened. Among these
are estimates that one-third of U.S. species are in danger, and that 100 species a day
worldwide are going extinct. But these claims are based on guesswork, not on facts.
The Endangered Species Act
Debate: Under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, private property
may not be taken for any public purpose without the payment of "just
compensation." Unfortunately, most environmentalists and private property
owners disagree on whether the ESA is being used to take privately owned property or
simply to protect a preexisting public interest in the natural flora and fauna.
Endangered Species Dangers: The costs
associated with enforcement of the Endangered Species Act are constantly increasing as the act is applied in
new ways and to additional species, subspecies and distinct populations of plants and animals.
Throw Precaution to the Wind —
Please! Although the science may not be in just yet, many environmentalists say the consequences may
be so dire that we need to adopt tough new regulations "just in case."
It's time for new
owners. Nearly half of America is now owned by the government. How can
free enterprise exist if government owns the land and resources?
in the Pacific Northwest: The ESA Hits Home. Two elderly women in Lynwood,
Washington, have been prohibited from selling an 18 acre plot of land because a tiny creek
that runs through it drains into the Swamp Creek watershed, which is habitat for salmon. Farmers
in the Methow Valley have had their irrigation ditches shut off for the first time in 100 years
and may lose an entire season of crops. The city of Richland, Washington, cannot get
approval to install 10 new traffic lights because of concerns over how transportation
projects will affect salmon.
Salmon Recovery is
Based on Junk Science. Over the past decade, more than two dozen subgroups of
Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead have been placed on the Endangered Species List. Yet
salmon populations are surging. For example, Sockeye runs are the highest in
15 years and spring Chinook salmon runs are the highest since 1938.
Act Hits Home for Klamath Farm Families. The Klamath Basin, located on the border
of California and Oregon, is a community that was created, sustained, and is now being
destroyed by the federal government. This destruction is being wrought because of federal
policies concerning an appropriately named creature — the suckerfish.
Ensuring That Humans Also Are A Protected
Species: Some work on levees and other flood-mitigation efforts has been stopped due to the presence of
threatened or endangered species, putting human lives needlessly at risk. Is Congress really willing to sacrifice
the lives of Americans to protect a fly because it does not have the courage to stand up to special-interest environmental
How Regulation is Destroying American
Jobs: The federal government's efforts to protect the northern spotted owl, under the Endangered
Species Act and other related laws, means millions of acres of land in Washington, Oregon, and northern
California have been closed to logging operations. Tens of thousands of loggers have lost or will lose
their jobs because of these regulations, and thousands more jobs have been lost in communities dependent on
logging as the principal industry.
The Sad Case of the Spotted Owl. Spotted
owls, we were told a decade ago, were disappearing because big bad timber companies were cutting down "old
growth" forests. So the environmental movement rushed to the forests, hugged the trees and issued news
releases to decry the evils of the logging industry. Save the owl. Save the trees. Kill the
timber industry. Of course, that was exactly the point. Kill the timber industry. In short,
American industry suffered in the name of protecting the spotted owl. Turns out it wasn't true.
Gray Wolves to
Leave Endangered List. Wolves in the northern Rockies will be removed from the endangered species
list within the next year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday [1/26/2007], a move that would open
the population up to trophy hunting.
How has the ESA Impacted
America? There have been numerous examples of how the ESA has had adverse
impacts throughout the country. From Oklahoma where a thirteen mile highway project was
delayed for four years because American burying beetles were found along two proposed
routes, to Kentucky where loggers lost their jobs when the Forest Service shut down logging
in the Daniel Boone National Forest for eight months in order to protect the red-cockaded
woodpecker; people all over the country have felt the sting of the ESA's rigid enforcement.
ESA blamed for firefighter deaths: An
investigation into the July 10 "30-mile fire" in central Washington state has uncovered that the Endangered
Species Act (ESA) played a central role in the deaths of four young firefighters combating the blaze.
Pombo Calls for Changes to the Endangered Species
Act. The importance of ESA reform is confirmed by many endangered species analysts. "After
three decades, and billions of dollars of spending by private parties, as well as local, state, and federal
governments to comply with the Act, only 15 species out of the 1,853 species listed as endangered or
threatened have been recovered," noted Daniel Simmons, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center.
"Clearly, the Act is due for a makeover."
The Endangered Species Act Reform
Project: It appears our collective long-range efforts to reform the ESA will take us down a
number of side roads along the way. The blatant, almost campaign-like overreach by federal environmental
regulatory agencies to expand their jurisdiction is one of our most serious roadblocks.
Klamath water crisis
was a painful betrayal. When the federal government shut off irrigation water on April 6,
2001, to 220,000 acres of farmland and two wildlife refuges to "protect" a pair of bottom-feeding suckerfish
species and Coho salmon — so plentiful [that] U.S. Fish and Wildlife workers were clubbing them to
death elsewhere — it forever changed the face of controversial Endangered Species Act and people's
How the Endangered Species Act affects the price
of water: Not since the snail darter has a creature so infuriated — and
inspired — conservatives around the country. The all-but-inedible, bottom-feeding
suckerfish, which makes its home in a lake that feeds this normally fertile agricultural valley, has become
the latest rallying cry in the battle to rewrite the Endangered Species Act.
Republicans to Planet Earth: Drop
Dead. "For all of its power, the ESA has not worked well. Of the 1,524 species listed
as either endangered or threatened during the ESA's more than 20 years of existence, only 27 had been
delisted by the end of 1995. Seven of the 27 had become extinct, eight others had been wrongly
listed and the remaining 12 recovered with no help from the ESA. In fact, no species recovery
can be definitively traced to the ESA."
Dead Snake Costs California
$1 Million: When California officials found a garter snake lying dead at a construction
site, alarm bells rang and state officials scurried around while all work was shut down for over two
weeks to unlock the mystery surrounding the tiny serpent's death.
The Endangered Species Act
remains a dividing force: "We believe the Endangered Species Act has been an utter and dismal
failure," said Andy Caldwell, director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business, or COLAB. "It
has failed to recover very many species at all — despite the number of years and hundreds of
millions of dollars that have gone into it."
In Smoke: The Stephen's Kangaroo Rat was listed as "endangered" by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on October 31, 1988. This little-noticed
action launched a revolution in land use in southern California that has
culminated in the fires that have now claimed at least 17 lives, destroyed
close to 2,000 homes, and consumed more than 600,000 acres throughout the region.
How Protecting a Fly Hurt the
Sick: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service bureaucrats have held up construction of a hospital in
Southern California and threatened county officials with heavy fines and arrests — all in the name of
saving the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly. In 1992, less than 24 hours before San Bernardino County was to
begin construction of the hospital, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the fly as an endangered species
and demanded that the county set aside the entire 68-acre hospital site as a preserve for eight flies known to
live on the property.
Insect Halts Building Plans Worth Millions.
Developers and environmentalists in Southern California are at odds again, this time over the fate of a tiny, and
not particularly lovable, fly. But the Delhi Sands fly is unique: It is the only fly to have made the list
of endangered species, and that fact is holding up construction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
What Gives You the Right? The
notion that property rights are incompatible with protecting the environment, justice, and morality lies
behind Bill Clinton's designation of National Monuments in the final months of his administration;
Clinton's executive order closing roads on some 58 million acres of public lands; the extraordinary
abuses of private property owners under the Endangered Species Act; and most recently the radical and
dangerous proposal in the Bush energy plan authorizing the federal government's use of eminent domain to
take private property to clear the way for new power lines and pipelines.
Suckers for junk science? On May 12, 2002,
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a Federal Register notice rejecting petitions I had filed to remove
from the Endangered Species List two species of sucker fish found in the Klamath Basin. The fish were listed as
endangered in 1988, on grounds that almost immediately proved to be false. Biologists claimed, for example, the
fish had not successfully spawned in 18 years. Yet more than 10 times the expected population was found soon
after the listings, with fish from all age classes, proving the suckers had been spawning all along.
Congress scrutinizes Endangered Species Act:
Members of the U.S. Congress, with the consent of the Bush administration, are taking a renewed look at the Endangered
Species Act in light of numerous cases during the Clinton-Gore administration in which the Act's definitions and guidelines
were often stretched to extremes to restrict use of private property and public lands.
More Specious Species Claims: For years critics
of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have noted how the ESA imposes draconian burdens on landowners without helping wildlife.
Bill Challenges Environmental Extremism.
After years of government-sanctioned harassment of citizens seeking to make an honest living, a House committee Wednesday [7/10/2002]
is scheduled to vote on a bill to rein in the extremism of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The measure, H.R. 4840, would
require "sound science" — solid, valid, legitimate scientific data to place a species on the
endangered species list.
"Glades guru" joins opposition to feds.
An unabashed environmentalist and scientist has joined a rapidly growing coalition of residents, farmers and recreational groups in
South Florida who are fighting back against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Park Service, as the agencies artificially
flood tens of thousands of acres of prime residential and agricultural land in proximity to the Everglades National Park to "provide a
crucial habitat for the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow."
The Green Taliban Of
America: The hubris of the Greens has allowed them to dictate to everyone just how we should
conduct our lives for decades. That is why you can't build a home, an office building, a factory, a
hospital or a school, without an "environmental" study. That is why Americans have been steadily
deprived of pesticides, many used safely for decades, to protect us against the diseases spread by insect
and rodent pests. That's why millions of acres of our national forests burned this year because
Greens won't let them be managed through selective logging or to allow roads to be built into those
forests. The list goes on and on because the Greens have been responsible for one third of every
law and regulation in the Federal Register today.
The ESA turns energy into solid
waste. On April 4, 2001, a federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation's dam operations in the
Klamath Basin violated the Endangered Species Act, which protects Coho salmon. The judge's ruling and a USFWS
Biological Opinion released on April 6 that called for increased lake levels to protect shortnosed and Lost River
suckerfish, prompted the Bureau to cut off irrigation water to 90% of the irrigated farmland in the Basin. There
was no warning, and no discussion. [And certainly no referendum.]
Square Off in Squirrel Squabble: When a Pacific Northwest utility company announced in
January  it would build the world's largest wind power plant, it came at a moment when the West was
feeling the pinch of energy-starved California. But there's a problem: The Washington ground
squirrels, which are protected under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.
the environment: California's San Bernardino County was just about ready to
build a new hospital. That was until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department discovered that
the endangered flower-loving Delhi Sands fly was found on the site. The county had to
spend $4.5 million to move the hospital 250 feet; it also had to divert funds from its
medical mission to pay for mandated Delhi Sands fly studies.
Shattered Dreams: 100 Stories of
Government Abuse. This publication highlights how regulations that are poorly written and/or
inflexibly enforced can overwhelm, intimidate, bankrupt or otherwise harm average Americans. It features
situations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, building codes, INS, IRS, the Endangered Species
Act, OSHA, Indian Affairs, zoning, property rights issues, etc.
Panthers and taxes:
the tools of landgrabbers. The goals of the Wildlands Project are to convert "at least" half
of the U.S. land area to wilderness, to manage "most" of the rest of the land for "conservation objectives," and
to force people to live inside urban boundaries in what's euphemistically called "sustainable communities."
California's Next Crisis?: The Golden State
may soon run out of water. The problem: California is currently home to more than 34 million
people, each and every one of whom gets thirsty from time to time. It will have closer to 50 million
in 20 years. The state also hosts such multi-billion dollar industries as agriculture, tourism, and
computer production, all of which require a steady flow of agua to stay afloat. Rounding out the cast of
characters is a hardcore environmental lobby that earnestly defends every inch of undeveloped land as indispensable
for the state's ubiquitous endangered species. They all want water, but there isn't enough to go around.
Washington, D.C. is the only city in the nation that can legally dump toxic sludge
in its waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency issues special discharge
permits to the Army Corps of Engineers to transport — in the dead
of night — chemically treated sludge from the Washington Aqueduct, a
water purification facility, to the Potomac River, where it is dumped in
violation of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. The Corps has
admitted dumping as much as 241,500 milligrams of suspended solids per liter
into the river. The maximum allowed limit for most states is about 30. The
nation's power elite are content with insisting that everyone else comply with
burdensome environmental regulations while they ignore them.
- Wall Street Journal (9/4/2002)
Quoted in Waste
The Endangered Species Act deserves
extinction: I often wonder why people can't just put two-and-two together to come up with four.
Take, for example, a recent decision by a New Jersey appellate court regarding alleged "endangered species."
Rejecting a plea from the New Jersey Builders Association, the court ruled, in essence, that it was more important
to "save" the Pine Barrens tree frog or the bog turtle, than to provide housing for those who live in the most
densely populated State in the Union.
Environmentalism, Eco-Terrorism and Endangered Species: While
mainstream environmental groups may try to distance themselves from the Earth Liberation Front and its "eco-terrorist"
methods, the truth is that ELF did directly what mainstream environmentalists have been doing indirectly for years
via the U.S. government's Endangered Species Act (ESA).
After a Long
Struggle, Whooping Crane Population Hits Milestone. One of the most beloved groups of winter
Texans is back, in the largest number in a century and with a record 45 youngsters in tow, including an even
rarer seven pairs of twins. They flew 2,400 miles from Canada's Northwest Territories and can be seen
munching on blue crabs and bright red-orange wolfberries among the marshes of the Aransas National Wildlife
crane no longer on brink of extinction. After a 100-year absence, the whooping crane is on the
verge of making a huge comeback. On the brink of extinction in the 1940s, the tallest bird in North
America has received an assist from the technological assets of mankind, as the Whooping Crane Eastern
Partnership has orchestrated its reintroduction to the wild.
Whooping crane count in Texas up
to record 270. The whooping crane population has set another record with 270 of the endangered
birds wintering on the Texas Coastal Bend. The birds in the world's only wild flock spend each winter in
the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas before returning to Canada and the Wood Buffalo National Park.
Wind Farms Threaten
Endangered Whooping Cranes. More than six decades of painstaking conservation efforts that have brought the
majestic whooping crane back from the brink of extinction may come undone because of the proliferation of wind farms in
the United States.
The Editor says...
Hmmm... Six decades of conservation efforts? That means the whooping crane problem was
being addressed long before the ESA existed.
cranes are arriving in Aransas Co.. The flock is the only naturally occurring whooping crane
population in the world. Every fall it migrates south to the refuge north of Rockport with youngsters
in tow. They stay through early spring before heading back to Wood Buffalo National Park in northern
Canada where they nest and raise babies.
NW Montana grizzly count
nearing 550. More than 500 "unique individual grizzlies" roam the northwestern Montana backcountry
from the Canadian border to Lincoln, with Glacier National Park boasting the largest number, according to DNA
studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 2004, the bears left behind identifying hairs at tree
rubs and on barbed wire, which researchers collected. … Not every bear in the ecosystem visited
the hair-collection locations, so the 545 figure is a minimum count, not a total population estimate.
Species Act endangers rights of landowners: By stripping landowners of
control over their land, the act has discouraged species protection. [Some people
believe] if you find a listed species, you should kill it, bury it and never say
anything. Less dramatically, owners of forest land cut down trees to avoid attracting
the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, which nests in old-growth trees; and adjust
logging practices to discourage the habitat favored by the northern spotted owl.
Web site: Undue Influence dot
com: Tracking the environmental movement's money,
power, and harm. "The environmental movement is not what you think
it is. It is not about the environment. It is about power."
by scoundrels: The more federal control over education, the worse it
becomes. The Endangered Species Act has attacked and trivialized private property
Time To Hold Environmental And Climate Doomsayers
To Account. In 2009 [David] Suzuki claimed "...we have witnessed decades of decline for diverse
sockeye populations from the Fraser Watershed, some of which are now on the brink of extinction." The 2010
sockeye salmon run was the largest in almost 100 years and Suzuki is silent. He's too busy on a book
tour promoting his false legacy. His real legacy is destroyed economies, lost jobs and hardship for
people, anxious children and weakened communities.
Debates on the Performance of the Endangered Species Act: Over
50% of the money actually expended on the ESA recovery by federal and
state agencies, between 1989 and 1991, was spent on the "top" ten species. These
species are also referred to as megafauna. Scientists feel that people will
part with their money for these species because they are easier for the majority
of the population to identify with. The following is a list of the actual
breakdown of these ten species (Metrick and Weitzman, 1996).
Bald Eagle $31.3 million
Grizzly Bear $12.6 million
Northern Spotted Owl $26.4 million
Least Bell's Vireo $12.5 million
Florida Scrub Jay $19.9 million
American Peregrine Falcon $11.6 million
West Indian Manatee $17.3 million
Florida Panther $13.6 million
Red-cockaded Woodpecker $15.1 million
Whooping Crane $10.8 million