Posted on July 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can the Endangered Species Act be improved?
Proposed changes would make it harder for citizen groups to petition for protection
FRISCO — The feds will give the public an extra two months to weigh in on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, with a new comment deadline set for mid-September.
In May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service published draft regulations, saying that the changes are aimed at improving transparency and inclusiveness. The move to freshen up the Endangered Species Act reflects “advances in conservation biology and genetics, as well as recent court decisions interpreting the Act’s provisions.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species act, Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Louisiana black bears have recovered and will be taken off the endangered species list. Photo courtesy Brad Young, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Recovery goals met, USFWS proposes delisting
FRISCO — In a textbook case of endangered species conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists last week said they’ve met their recovery goals for the Louisiana black bear and moved to take the species off the endangered species list.
The subspecies of black bear lives only in Louisiana, East Texas and western Mississippi. It was listed in 1992 because of pressures from hunting and habitat destruction and fragmentation. Now, the agency estimates about 500 and 750 Louisiana black bears roam the region, about double the population size at the time of listing. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Conservation biology, endangered species, endangered species act, Environment, Louisiana black bear, U.S. Fish and Wildli | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Lynx have protected under the Endangered Species Act for 15 years, but legal wrangling and bureaucratic inertia have prevented completion of a recovery plan for the mammals, Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Modernization aimed at keeping regs in line with science, political pressure and court rulings
FRISCO — Federal biologists say they want to freshen up the Endangered Species Act to “reflect advances in conservation biology and genetics, as well as recent court decisions interpreting the Act’s provisions.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, many of the country’s endangered species regulations date back to the 1980s, and need an overhaul. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, the changes will address states’ concerns and boost voluntary conservation efforts, and add transparency to the listing process.
The proposal to revamp parts of the law comes against a backdrop of blistering attacks by anti-environmental Republicans in Congress who see endangered species regulations as hurdles to the exploitation of natural resources and have tried to undercut the bedrock law by preventing funding for environmental protection, and even going as far as trying to prevent federal agencies from making science-based listing decisions. Continue reading
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Posted on January 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A male Gunnison sage-grouse struts as part of its spring mating ritual. Photo courtesy BLM.
Wildlife advocates say dwindling birds need full protection of Endangered Species Act
FRISCO — Dwindling Gunnison sage-grouse will have to wait a bit long to find out what kind of endangered species protection — if any — they will get.
Following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the birds as threatened, the agency faces twin lawsuits — one from the State of Colorado, which claims that the birds shouldn’t be listed at all, and another from conservation groups seeking to give the birds the highest level of protection under an “endangered” listing. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, endangered species act, Gunnison Sage Grouse, US Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
House report fails to cite any peer-reviewed science
A lynx kitten in Colorado. Photo courtesy CPW.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Anti-environmental Republicans in the House are once again twisting the facts and distorting science in their efforts to dismantle the Endangered Species Act on behalf of various extractive and environmentally harmful industries.
An analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity found a series of significant factual errors in a report that formed the basis of a recent proposal by 13 House Republicans to weaken a bedrock environmental law that has prevented the extinction of scores of plants and animals across the country.
The analysis, which highlights 12 key errors in the GOP report, was sent in a letter to Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chair of a key House resources committee. According to wildlife conservation advocates, the proposal would cripple key parts of the Act by limiting the ability of citizens to hold government accountable by challenging endangered species decisions and policies. Continue reading
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Posted on December 27, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wolverine. Photo courtesy Roy Anderson/USFWS.
Not everyone is convinced that the species is threatened by global warming
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal biologists last week said they aren’t quite ready to make a final decision about endangered species status for wolverine. The listing deadline has been pushed back by six months for another review of the science — a step that’s taken when there is “substantial scientific disagreement.”
“During the peer review process on our proposed rule to list the wolverine as threatened, we received a variety of opinions from the scientific community concerning the information we used to develop the proposed rules,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement. Background on wolverine conservation online here. Continue reading
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Posted on December 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
An adult grizzly bear in the brush. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.
Conservation groups say it’s too early
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal biologists last week said they expect to decide within a month whether they will remove grizzly bears in the northern Rockies from the endangered species list despite a recent study suggesting that populations may be declining.
Grizzlies were classified as a threatened species in 1975 and cooperative conservation efforts have help recover and stabilized some populations, but wildlife conservation groups say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to take grizzlies off the list is premature. Continue reading
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