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Center for Biological Diversity Sues Trump's Interior Department Over Failure to Protect At-Risk Species
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49182"><span class="small">Emily Holden, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Friday, 09 November 2018 09:23

Holden writes: "Environmental advocates are suing Donald Trump's interior department for using what they call a secretive process that ignores science in refusing protections for at-risk species."

Last year the administration declined to list the Pacific walrus as endangered, arguing that the mammals could adapt to sea ice melting from climate change. (photo: Joel Garlich-Miller/AP)
Last year the administration declined to list the Pacific walrus as endangered, arguing that the mammals could adapt to sea ice melting from climate change. (photo: Joel Garlich-Miller/AP)


Center for Biological Diversity Sues Trump's Interior Department Over Failure to Protect At-Risk Species

By Emily Holden, Guardian UK

09 November 18


Center for Biological Diversity says new program bypasses findings and leaves decisions to employees who are not experts

nvironmental advocates are suing Donald Trump’s interior department for using what they call a secretive process that ignores science in refusing protections for at-risk species.

The Center for Biological Diversity says a new program called the Species Status Assessment bypasses findings from scientists and leaves protection decisions to career federal employees who are not experts and may be under pressure from bosses.

“It’s like going into the hospital and having a team of doctors diagnose you and then leaving the decision up to the chief financial officer of the hospital about what treatment they’re going to pursue,” said Ryan Shannon, an attorney for the group. “There’s a disconnect here.”

Shannon said Trump officials are looking for “wiggle room” to deregulate.

The administration last year declined to list the Pacific walrus as endangered, arguing that the animals could adapt to sea ice melting from climate change.

Additionally, two scientists have said they were rushed in assessing the threats from farming to the endangered American burying beetle and felt the interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service would conclude agriculture is not a risk regardless of what data they presented.

The interior department has eased species protections in other ways, including not automatically requiring the same efforts for threatened species as for endangered ones. It also is allowing more incidental” killings of birds by industry.

The lawsuit, in district court in Washington DC, is in anticipation of similar decisions against species protection in the coming months, Shannon said.

The suit argues the department should have sought public comment on the program, according to the Endangered Species Act.

A Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman could not comment on litigation or immediately make staffers available to discuss the program.

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+2 # evenstephen 2018-11-09 11:59
This administration' s policies on endangered and threatened species are all of a piece with those on immigrants and seekers of asylum: we are not a compassionate nation. In whatever context, we, we Americans, we citizens, we humans, are all that counts. Everyone else can go take a flying leap.
That is not one of my life's guiding principles, and it's definitely not a lesson I want to teach my children. How sad that we apparently have to put up with this--dare I say it?--evil for more than two more years. God help us!
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2018-11-09 13:27
Center for Biological Diversity Sues Trump's Interior Department Over Failure to Protect At-Risk Species, 09 November 18

- O U T S T A N D I N G !