Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Concern for Montana Wildlife

Our Top 10 Report--highlighting wildlife, plants and fish that are not on the endangered species list, but should be--includes two Montana species. The Montana Fluvial Arctic Grayling (a fish) and the Wolverine are both species that need our protections.

Our Montana field representative, Derek Goldman, talks about the threats faced by these species on public radio. Have a listen here.

View all of the wildlife--a marine mammal, a reptile, an amphibian, 2 birds, a butterfly, and more species--highlighted in our Top 10 report on our website.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Without A Net

The Bush administration has found one of the best ways to undermine the Endangered Species Act: just stop listing species as "endangered."

The Endangered Species Coalition has just published a report highlighting ten species plus three honorable mentions that should receive protection under the Act. They're just a few of the hundreds of species that need to be listed as threatened or endangered.

Check out our report to learn more.

The Bush administration has the worst listing record of any president in the history of the Endangered Species Act. His per yer listing record is only eight. Eight! Even Reagan did better with 32 species listed per year.

When wildlife, plants and fish are not officially recognized or "listed," they don't receive the protections of the federal government under the Endangered Species Act no matter how few of them survive on the planet. It is a pretty effective way of harming wildlife.

We're hopeful that the new administration will reverse this trend, listing species that have waited for 10, 20 or even 30 years to be recognized as threatened or endangered.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Surprise! Bush Weakens Endangered Species Act

Okay, so maybe it is not a surprise at all, to any of us. Yesterday, Secretary Kempthorne announced that federal projects, such as road, mines, and dams, won't be required to be reviewed by wildlife biologists at the U.S. FWS or NOAA. This move creates a huge chink in the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act.

Agencies such as the Department of Transportation are simply not equipped to decide for themselves if their projects may harm wildlife. And, that is not their mission. In fact, some may view their mission as somewhat contrary: providing "a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system." As we all know, highways and wildlife don't always go so well together.

We held a press briefing yesterday with a number of leaders of environmental organizations and the media to discuss this issue. As Jamie Clark, Executive VP of Defenders of Wildlife stated on the call, the system of requiring federal agencies to consult with the experts about impacts to wildlife has worked for three decades. It isn't broken. For more on what we had to say to the press, see our joint press release.

Clearly, what is broken is Bush's Department of Interior. The need for a great new Secretary of Interior couldn't be higher. Our wildlife depends on it.

For those of you interested in the legal details of this new regulation, you can view it on the Department of Interior's website.