Category Archives: Department of the Interior

Great Lakes Advocates Speak out for Wolves in D.C.

Last week I was lucky enough to accompany conservationists, farmers and hunters from across the Great Lakes States as they converged on Washington DC. 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

Obama Administration close to decision on ESA regs

According to the New York Times and Greenwire, the Obama Administration is preparing their decision on whether to overturn the Bush Endangered Species Act regulations. Greenwire writes, “the Interior Department is proceeding with a final rule revamping changes that the Bush administration made to Endangered Species Act regulations in its final months.” To see the article, visit http://tinyurl.com/interiorarticle The Department of Interior has sent a revised rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The rule could be released as… Continue reading

Obama Administration close to decision on ESA regs

According to the New York Times and Greenwire, the Obama Administration is preparing their decision on whether to overturn the Bush Endangered Species Act regulations. Greenwire writes, “the Interior Department is proceeding with a final rule revamping changes that the Bush administration made to Endangered Species Act regulations in its final months.” To see the article, visit http://tinyurl.com/interiorarticle The Department of Interior has sent a revised rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The rule could be released as… Continue reading

Interior Secretary Salazar hears from Congress, scientists and conservationists

Yesterday, I went to the last Department of Interior hearing in San Francisco on off-shore oil drilling. It was so inspiring to see hundreds of people supporting strong environmental protections and opposing drilling off our coasts! Several speakers asked Secretary Salazar to overturn the Bush Administration’s regulations that weakened the Endangered Species Act. Representative Lynn Woolsey said it best when she asked “Mr. Secretary, isn’t it time to rollback the Bush Administration’s revisions of the Endangered Species Act policy?” For… Continue reading

Omnibus Land Bill Becomes Law

Today, President Obama signed into law the legislation commonly referred to as the Omnibus Public Lands Bill. I’ll admit, given the name, I didn’t really think about the endangered species implications of the legislation until someone pointed out that this bill is about so much more than rearranging various geographic boundaries. It is perhaps the greatest lands protections bill in my lifetime. This law contains over 160 separate pieces of legislation, ranging for the designation of three new national parks… Continue reading

Happy New Year! Endangered Species Outlook for 2010

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to working with you to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places in 2010. This will be an exciting and important year for endangered species protections. The Obama Administration is working on changes to endangered species programs. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has stated that he will announce changes to Endangered Species Act regulations in 2010. Last year, the Obama Administration overturned several Bush Administration regulations that weakened endangered species protections… Continue reading

Oil and Polar Bears Don’t Mix

By Liz VanDenzen, Director of Field Operations, Alaska Wilderness League BP might be the only oil company that’s glad that all eyes are on Copenhagen this month… Last week, BP reported its second oil spill in four days on Alaska‘s North Slope. News reports indicate that the first of these spills is one of the worst ever in North Slope history. As a result, BP now holds the dubious honor of earning the gold and silver medals for oil spills… Continue reading

Jon Stewart and I

Jon Stewart and I both had two things on our mind this week: California’s Bay-Delta and global warming. The clip from the Daily Show is below. Presumably, he thought about some other stuff too, but I haven’t really. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the company of some West Coasters who were in Washington DC to highlight how severe an impact the ecological collapse of the Delta is having on people. While industrial irrigators and other opponents have been trying… Continue reading