You are here: home   Blogs   The GOAT Blog   Endangered Species Act restored
The GOAT Blog

Endangered Species Act restored

Document Actions
Tip Jar Donation

Your donation supports independent non-profit journalism from High Country News.

jeffc | Mar 04, 2009 03:18 PM

Gray wolves and other endangered species will be happy about President Barack Obama's decision on Tuesday to bring back the original rules of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).



In December 2008, as a parting gift, the Bush administration introduced rules to allow federal projects to bypass a mandatory review from either the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. So if federal agencies decided that their proposed highways, dams or mines pose no threat to imperiled species, they wouldn't have to consult with scientists.

But yesterday at the 160th anniversary celebration of the Interior Department, Obama signed a presidential memorandum stating his administration's commitment to restoring the original intent of the ESA, according to The Washington Times. Federal projects will once again be subject to review from wildlife experts.

The Washington Post reports that an Earthjustice lawyer expects the new administration to revisit two pending projects: a Bureau of Land Management plan in Oregon that could affect the northern spotted owl; and also the construction of the White Pine coal-fired power plant in Nevada. A press release from the Center for Biological Diversity said the plant would emit harmful pollutants, affecting air quality and visibility in nearby Great Basin National Park.

Obama's move doesn't change Bush's rule, but it requires that agencies revert to former ESA guidelines. Meanwhile, Obama has instructed officials of the Interior and Commerce Departments to review the Bush rule to see if a new, revised rule should be issued.

"The work of scientists and experts in my administration will be respected," said Obama.


Filed under: ,

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. The man behind a New Mexico county's fracking ban | Last year Mora became the first county in the nati...
  4. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
More from Flora & Fauna
Of packrat poop, creosote bush and juniper-fed lamb
Mustang modification Review of 'The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs.'
Are we smart enough to solve our raven problem? As ravens spread, they’re finding friends and foes in Western states.
All Flora & Fauna
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone