Category Archives: Bush Administration

Senator Cardin Speaks Out for Protecting Species

This morning, Senator Cardin (D-MD), chair of the Senate Water and Wildlife subcommittee, spoke about the importance of protecting endangered species and overturning the last-minute Bush Administration rule changes. See his speech in this video: The Senate is expected to vote late this afternoon on the amendment by Senator Murkowski (R-AK). The amendment would weaken a provision in the FY09 omnibus spending bill that would otherwise make it easier for the Obama administration to help restore needed protections by overturning… Continue reading

President Obama Restores Endangered Species Protections

Great news – President Obama announced today a restoration of independent, outside reviews for how government projects and decisions impact endangered species. President Bush changed when these reviews are implemented with a set of new regulations that went into effects just five days before Barack Obama became President. At a celebration for the Department of the Interior’s 160th anniversary, President Obama included this announcement: Finally, today I’ve signed a memorandum that will help restore the scientific process to its rightful… Continue reading

How the Omnibus helps endangered species

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected today to debate an omnibus bill that sets the federal government’s budget for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill has some good news for endangered species. First, it includes budget increases for many endangered species programs, which have been ailing for years. For the main Fish and Wildlife Service programs, which include listing and critical habitat designation; consultations; candidate protections; and recovery efforts, there is an increase of almost $7.5 million… Continue reading

(Re)protecting flying squirrels

This is a guest post from ESC member group The Wilderness Society. It has also appeared on their blog. Can we save my flying squirrel?By M’Shae Alderman, The Wilderness Society I can still remember the smell of dog food and peanut butter mixing and melting beneath Kentucky’s July sun. My vertebrate zoology class was preparing to trap the Southern flying squirrel and my group received a special assignment: “make raccoon bait.” So, while my other classmates assembled cages and rolled… Continue reading

Global Warming threatens another, but the cooldown on listing may be over

If I am remembering correctly, today we have a new milestone to recognize with the Obama Administration: their first listing proposal of a species in need of added protection. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing that the population of eulachon found in Washington, Oregon and California waters be considers a distinct population and that it be listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (announcement available here). You might also know eulachon as candlefish, Columbia River smelt and… Continue reading

Polar Bears Need an Opportunity – and a Place – to Survive.

Like so many of the bad decisions coming out of the Bush Administration, Polar Bear protection is no exception. The Administration came kicking and screaming to the decision to finally list the Polar Bear as a threatened species deserving protections under the Endangered Species Act. However, the listing came with strings attached. The exemptions the administration made with the listing virtually guarantee the habitat the Polar Bears need to survive will be compromised and so too the Polar Bears recovery.… Continue reading

Bush Administration Lists Polar Bear but Refuses to Protect Habitat or Address Drilling and Global Warming

Today, the Bush Administration listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but refused to address the main threats to the species – habitat loss, drilling and global warming. At the Endangered Species Coalition, we welcome the listing of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, but we urge the Bush Administration to halt drilling in the bear’s habitat. I guess it is hard for Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to ignore drowning polar bears and the… Continue reading

Bush Rewrites the Endangered Species Act

The Bush administration has just proposed a massive weakening of the Endangered Species Act. For the past 35 years, scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service assessed whether the actions of other federal agencies would harm threatened and endangered species. The Bush administration’s lawyers have decided to remove that requirement and instead essentially let agencies decide for themselves if their highway, dam, mining, drilling or other construction project would harm wildlife. However, since the missions of these other agencies are… Continue reading

Mahalo to Interior, I think.

Yesterday, the Department of Interior announced their intention to propose listing 45 plants, two birds and one insect that are all endemic to the Hawaiian island of Kauai to the Endangered Species List. Their proposal will also include designation of critical habitat that reportedly encompasses all but one of these species (the latter being left out over concerns of alerting poachers as to where to find it). This decade has seen criminally few species offered the protection of the Endangered… Continue reading

Schwarzenegger fires first salvo in attack on endangered species

Last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chose to celebrate Earth Day by launching what may be the first salvo in the next big attack on endangered species. Instead of celebrating the successes of endangered species protection, such as the bald eagle, gray wolf and California condor, Schwarzenegger decided to use endangered species protection as a scapegoat. He blasted his own California environmental agency for “slowing approval of a solar facility in Victorville” because of “an endangered squirrel.” Schwarzenegger in Last… Continue reading