While Congress has largely disappeared as a threat to the ESA with the defeat of Richard Pombo and change in party control, the Bush Administration is still trying to gut the act.

Their methods are 1. to reduce the administrative protections governing the species (that is, weaken the details because it is often the details that are the most important).

2. Not list species that are in fact endangered. Those who wrote the ESA believed the government would be, on the basis of science, the principal source of listings. It hasn’t happened that way. The Bush Administration has not voluntarily listed a single species. All of them added have been by lawsuit from groups who convince the courts that the Administration is clearly not doing their job. Most extinctions come while a species is waiting to be listed. Getting on the list really does prevent extinctions and the Administration knows this.

3. Attempt to defund the Act, which has never had much money anyway. Without money the ESA means little. Congress has the final say on funding (unless Bush vetos). Contacting your US Senators and US Representative would be very helpful if you want to see more money appropriated. The amount of money they give the ESA is so small that it would not fund an hour of the conflict in Iraq.

I don’t like to say this, but the Administration wants plants and animals to go extinct so they aren’t around to disrupt development plans and to do favors for their political buddies. The story below indicates that the master of darkness, Dick Cheney himself, has intervened to prevent the protection of species.

Here is the story in the LA Times. By Margot Roosevelt, Times Staff Writer

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Critics say [endangered] species list is endangered

  1. avatar JEFF E says:

    with Idaho’s own Dick Kempthorne leading the charge.

  2. Yes. As governor in my state (Idaho) he was bad on wildlife.

    Despite growing up and establishing a career in Idaho, perhaps the state with the most backcountry left (except Alaska), he spent little time outdoors, but much time advancing his career by being the servant of corporate interests.

  3. avatar Tim Z. says:

    Ralph, you mean you didn’t see him and his wife posing atop the Bitterroot mountains for the photo on the back of your Idaho highway map?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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