Wolf advocates accuse Sen. Tester (D-MT) of politically intervening in a scientific decision
From this morning’s local paper:
“Our provision does not undermine the Endangered Species Act,” said Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who led the effort to delist the wolf in Congress. “It recognizes the ESA as a success.”…
“Wolves in Washington, Oregon and Utah will also be put under state control by the rider. Those states have relatively tiny wolf populations, numbering in the low dozens.”…
“With the bill’s passage, however, legal experts warned the Obama administration’s support for lifting wolf protections opens the door to future meddling by lawmakers catering to anti-wildlife interests.
“The Endangered Species Act has long been reviled by conservatives who see it as a hindrance to economic development. Now, the administration’s support for the wolf provision signals that protections for even the most imperiled animals, fish and plants are negotiable given enough political pressure, experts said.
“The president could have used some political capital to influence this and he didn’t,” said Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law from the Vermont Law School. “The message to the environmental community is, don’t count on the administration to be there” to protect endangered species.
“Environmentalists still count Obama as an ally on other issues, ranging from climate change and wilderness preservation to oil and gas exploration. Yet experts in wildlife law say that in the scramble to pass the budget, the administration is circumventing one of the country’s bedrock environmental laws.”…
“We are having the worst attack on the Endangered Species Act in 30 years while we have a Democratic Senate and a Democratic White House,” said Kieran Suckling with the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are trying to shut citizens and scientists out of the endangered species process.”
Full article here.
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