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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:12 PM
Original message
Obama Administration Denies Endangered Species Act Protection to 251 Species
http://ourcompass.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/obama-admini... /

From The Center for Biological Diversity

Imperiled Plants and Animals Relegated to Candidate List Where Theyll Languish for Years Without Protection

WASHINGTON The Obama administration today denied Endangered Species Act protection to 251 plants and animals that government scientists have said need those protections to avoid extinction. Instead, the administration has placed them indefinitely on a list of candidate (below) species, where many have already languished for years without help.

The Obama administration has no sense of urgency when it comes to protecting imperiled plants and animals, said Kiern Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. With extinction looming, imperiled species need more than promises of hope and change. They need real protection, and they need it now.

So far, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama administration has provided Endangered Species Act protection to just 51 plants and animals, and only one of those occurs in the continental United States. By comparison, the Clinton administration protected 522 species; the George H.W. Bush administration protected 231. The average annual rate for the Obama administration is 26, while for the Clinton administration it was 65 and for the first Bush administration it was 58.

(More at the link)

:-(
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. And the Obama Admininistration continues to endanger its credibility.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Obama administration's capacity to compromise has no bounds.
Edited on Thu Nov-11-10 02:17 PM by HereSince1628
He is SOOOOO like Ghandi, and SOOOOOOO unlike Lincoln that it hurts even when I don't laugh.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. If we swapped Obama and Lincoln and it were the second year
of the Obama 1862 administration, I wonder how differently the Emancipation would have been written.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. Obama disappoints me more and more everyday
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mediaman007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Not a Democrat, not a Republican...
just a simple corporatist.
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. Speechless...
:-(
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. Who is recommending all of these bizarre and stupid policies to
the President and why? nt
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. could it be Ken Salazar?
Edited on Thu Nov-11-10 02:27 PM by mitchtv
the ranchers' guy in DOI. Get ready for the nuclear power plants and probably Yucca mt, too
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. That does sound like Ken. nt
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I know that the wolf has him to thank
for denying protection status
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Thankfully the courts rectified that cowardly decision...
...I knew I wasn't going to get a pony, but I thought I might get some change...guess not..
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_sunshine_ Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-10 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
38. The wolf was politically a little more complicated than that
The entire idea of downlisting or delisting in Idaho and Montana is that those two states were playing ball and committed to keeping wolf populations above the delisting target plus a certain buffer percentage, but they wanted control of the species within their borders or they'd stop playing ball. Wyoming was having none of it, and still refuses to meet its obligations. The only way to keep Idaho and Montana happy would be a delisting of a subset of the distinct population segment, but as Judge Molloy said in his ruling, that's not provided for in the law. Any status change would have to apply to the entire DPS. True to their word, Idaho responded to the ruling by forbidding its wildlife and law enforcement agencies from spending any time or money helping with wolf recovery or investigations. This means now the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to spend a bunch more money picking up the slack in Idaho, and it probably does not have the money to do so...it will have even less under a continuing resolution or a budget cut in an omnibus bill.

Meanwhile, the DPS listing in the northern Rockies really doesn't have the greatest foundation in biology. It was just a politically expedient way of accomplishing the Yellowstone release, which itself was just a means of speeding the recolonization of suitable habitat in the region by wolves from Alberta and British Columbia. The boundaries of the northern Rockies DPS, the western Great Lakes DPS, the New England DPS, the southern Rockies DPS, they're all arbitrarily selected political boundaries. In some states between the Rockies and Western Great Lakes, the division between where they would have been delisted in one DPS and remained listed in another DPS is a highway. Wolves from each DPS cross that highway from time to time, so by being on one side the wolf would be "protected" whereas on the other side it would have been fair game.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Think Ken Salazar should be looked at for this. This is not the 1st time, under the Salazar
DOI appointment, that the environment and wild animals are being endangered. Take a look at his record.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. It's sickening and surreal that his record on this is better than Obama's
Just freaking inexcusable.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I've never felt so discouraged about the politics as I now am. nt
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I strongly object to President Obama being called that.
I believe it to be beyond what is permitted in attacking him.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Well, it is rude to refer to the President as being a Dufus (which I
mean by that, dumb). However, compared to what he is doing to the people of the U.S. is so much worse, then I somehow felt that I had a right to disrespect him. I felt much angrier at Bush during his administration. I'm not sorry that I voted for Obama because McCain would have definitely been worse for the Country.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. You felt that you had the right to disrespect him?
I see, then. That makes it just peachy keen, then. You just go right ahead. I'm sure it will convince him to do as you think right. :sarcasm:
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I never dreamed for a second that anything I had to say would
effect anything in American politics. It turns out that my only accomplishment by saying what was on my mind was to offend on of my fellow Americans.

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. English is a powerful language. It's possible to say what's on
your mind very forcefully without resorting to juvenile name-calling of the President of The United States. You seem able to write reasonably well. I believe you will make your point much better without the petty nonsense. Just state your case clearly. Name-calling can only diminish the effectiveness of your words.

I thought I had seen that name for the President elsewhere on DU today. So I did a search. Indeed, it has appeared four times, all in posts made by you. Perhaps you should rethink a bit. I disagree with President Obama in many areas, but he remains the President. I voted for him. I supported him. I still do, even though I don't like some of his decisions. He is President, and deserves not to be mocked childishly.

That is my opinion.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-10 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
35. Sometimes frustration gets the better of people
On the other hand,
> He is President, and deserves not to be mocked childishly.

I dislike blind hero-worship and assumption of "respect" that
has not been earned.

He is President. His words & actions determine how he is viewed.
When his words & actions show that he is a pathetic corporatist
then yes, he deserves to be mocked (childishly or otherwise).

That is my opinion.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
10. How very telling.
If only each of those species about to be extinct had a lobbyist or two willing to write out a campaign check.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Survival for a thousand bucks. What a species. We had better
start thinking about putting ourselves on the endangered species list.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. There is no reason to deny this at all. Salazar must go.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. +1. nt
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. And, I suppose, President Obama reviewed every one of those
designations.
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. He made the appointment
and all the others that are terrible. All the people who are there to advise him he is responsible for the hiring. He has to ultimately be the one to accept the blame.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Ultimately, yes, he bears responsibility. However, in all likelihood,
he has nothing whatever to do with decisions regarding endangered species. He has more crucial things on his plate to decide. I doubt he's even aware of any of these decisions. Perhaps the answer is to address your concerns directly to him. The headline on this story is inflammatory, and attempts to imply that there was direct input from the President. There almost certainly was not, and he's probably not even briefed on such minor decisions.

A lot of the handwaving going on about what are really minor matters and blaming President Obama for every decision made by individual departments seems to me to be misdirected.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. He's the Prez. Ultimately the buck stops at his doorstep...
doesn't it?

I have no doubt the man's plate is full to overflowing....but still. Bush & Clinton managed to enact protection. If he can't do it then he should have people in place who actually give a damn about the environment & the planet.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. That headline is *sensationalistic* to say the least
There are always species left off of the ES list. This number may be on the high side.

But this "writing" makes it sound like President Obama is purging the ES list.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Well, I doubt that the President could even name two species that
are on the list. I find it specious that he keeps getting personal blame for every decision that is disliked by some. He has no knowledge of decisions made on such issues. That's why we have departments in the Executive branch. The President has much, much larger issues that require his attention. The Endangered species list is not one of those, to be quite frank.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Too bad. If all these species had been PROTECTED, *Obama* would be getting the credit.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
30. Bummer
The only species I am familiar with on the list are the birds, and most of them would not require large changes in habitat management.

This is all political. I knew Obama wasn't much of an environmentalist when I voted for him, but nevertheless I am disappointed. :(
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-10 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. "knew Obama wasn't much of an environmentalist when I voted for him, nevertheless I am disappointed"
exactly precisely
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_sunshine_ Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
33. A couple points
The Fish and Wildlife Service receives an appropriation from Congress that explicitly limits how much money they can spend in any given year on actually listing species that receive a "warranted" 12 month finding. The finding requires a publication in the Federal Register, and then the actual listing requires promulgation of a new rule and a separate publication in the Federal Register, all of which is really expensive. This is a big reason for the listing backlog. It costs a lot of money to list a species from start to finish, so when CBD sends in a huge petition for hundreds of species greatly exceeding the number FWS could list under their authorized budget, a large number of those species on the list that do actually qualify for listing will be placed on the candidate list. If, of course, those species meet the listing criteria. If half of the species on these large petition lists do not meet the criteria, then FWS wastes a lot of time and money reviewing them rather than on clearing the candidate backlog or recovering already-listed species.

More frustrating is CBD equating listing under the Act as conveying protection. The Florida panther has been listed for many years...how's that ESA protection working out for the species? Adding a species to the list simply provides a means by which the US government can become involved in managing a critter, and there are legal limits to what the government can do. If a private citizen elects to do something on his or her property that might adversely affect a listed critter, he can have at it as long as he's not killing the critters in question - for example, he could cut down nesting trees outside of nesting season, or pave over a nesting beach, or some other habitat modification - and if no federal money is involved he's free to do this. The FWS can really only intercede where there is another federal agency already involved, or where someone is illegally killing or harming a listed critter without a permit. Even then, enforcement is by law largely citizen-driven; you have to sue a federal agency that is violating ESA, because FWS is not a regulatory agency in that sense. The FWS options for protecting plants are almost nonexistent.

What's more, finding a way for the agency to spend a larger portion of its funding on actually listing species would diminish the already fairly minimal things it can afford to do to help the species that are on the list. As it is the agency doesn't have the funding to hire more biologists to do the 90 day and 12 month reviews for each individual species on a petition, and occasionally has to pull biologists off of conservation and recovery assignments to review listing petitions to meet statutory or judicially mandated deadlines. Biologists working in recovery programs are then either not working on recovering species or can't get necessary funding to deal with the species already on the list, and morale suffers. Remember, these people are GS-11s and 12s who do the work, they are already on the receiving end of policy and regulation coming from high up in the administration, and friendly fire from conservation advocates tend to either push these biologists out of the agency or steel their resolve to not collaborate with such groups in the future*. Simply put, CBD is approaching a point here where it'll be cutting off its nose to spite its face. The ESA and wildlife laws in general do a poor job of reflecting biological reality. They are almost universally constructed to conserve charismatic megafauna rather than functional ecosystems. The best course of using ESA for protection of maximal biological diversity (i.e., the 35ish animal phyla that don't have a backbone for starters) would be to list umbrella species and their critical habitat with ranges that happen to overlap with known biodiversity hotspots.

Here's something you can do right now to conserve some bird species that might warrant listing, and in the process prevent the need for them to even be listed. Write your representatives and senators to make two changes to the upcoming farm bill. First, lower or remove biofuels incentives for marginal lands. Second, increase funding for CRP, especially native grass mixes. You could go further and request strengthening of swampbuster rules or a clean water restoration rewrite to protect prairie wetland species, but now that Feingold is out of the Senate that will go nowhere. Basically, this gets down to protecting habitats before species are ever threatened with extinction. By that point, with habitat and ecosystem function gone, ESA listing offers little hope for meaningful recovery. If you say "Well, we need switchgrass ethanol on that marginal land," or "We need more drain tile to grow corn in Minnesota and the Dakotas," or some such, then you've already made your decision and ESA is not going to change the outcome.

*Asking because I'm not intimately familiar with CBD, does CBD actually take part in conserving and recovering species by funding fieldwork or property acquisition, or are they solely focused on legal concepts?
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-11-10 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. thank you for that background information
it was interesting to hear how the bureaucracy works.

And welcome to DU. :)
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-10 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. thanks for the info and welcome to DU! nt
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