Analysis: 2007 legal opinion is a threat to imperiled species

The Endangered Species Act Under Threat

A Bush Administration interpretation of “range” that restricts protections for imperiled species to their current range, precluding protections for historic range could weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Analysis: 2007 legal opinion is a threat to imperiled speciesScienceBlog

researchers say such an interpretation sets the stage for the creation of sporadically located “wilderness zoos” that would reduce protections for endangered species and the habitat on which they depend.

It is pretty universally understood that the Bush Administration was no proponent of the ESA and actively pushed radically minimalist interpretations of the Act administratively and in the courts.  If you think about it, an interpretation of the Endangered Species Act that only protects species where they currently reside would actually incentivize the removal of species from areas before they get listed, or at least could pull a lot of the wind out of efforts to conserve a species in an area before a listing potentially takes place.

As the article notes, what’s particularly troubling is that the Obama Administration has done nothing to reverse Bush’s legal memorandum. Obama’s Interior actually picked up where Bush left off, using the interpretation in its decision to delist wolves.

“The law says listing decisions should be determined by scientists,” Bruskotter said. “Implementing the 2007 legal interpretation, on the other hand, would further limit the number of species listed and the area in which they qualify for protections, ultimately diminishing the government’s ability to conserve threatened and endangered species.”

Stockgrowers sue to protect non-existent cattle from a non-existent threat

Ridiculous lawsuit to show who is boss over everything and everyone in Montana is being heard today.

Montana Stockgrowers Association is suing to make sure bison are removed from the Horse Butte, which is devoid of cattle, by May 15th of each year. They would force the State of Montana to violate private property rights of those who live on the peninsula each and every year.

Cattle are no longer grazed on Horse Butte and there are few cattle grazed in the entire Hebgen Valley.  Even those cattle don’t arrive until late June long after there is any threat of brucellosis transmission.  Even so, bison are hazed, captured, and slaughtered by State and Federal Agencies at taxpayer expense at the cost of $1.5 million dollars per year to protect a few operators from a non-existent threat.

Stockgrowers sue over Horse Butte bison
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

A reminder of the consequences of this policy: