November 14th, 2003, 20:57
Endangered Species Act in Danger ?!!
Hallelujah !! MAYBE something good will come of this...............
Interior Department official calls for review of law protecting endangered
The Associated Press
Posted: Friday November 14th, 2003, 5:35 AM
Last Updated: Friday November 14th, 2003, 5:35 AM
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - The senior U.S. Interior Department official
responsible for the Endangered Species Act labeled the law "broken" in
calling for a review to look at reforms including sometimes favoring
interests of humans over the endangered species.
Assistant Interior Secretary Craig Manson specifically criticized a part of
the law limiting development in areas used by threatened species to
recover - the so-called "critical habitat" provision.
"We didn't anticipate the potential conflicts" when the Endangered Species
Act was written, he said Thursday. "We have to recognize that, A, we can't
protect everything, and, B, we have to carefully examine whether we should
try to protect everything, and at what cost?"
Appointed by President Bush, Manson has been responsible for the National
Parks system and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since early 2001.
In Santa Barbara for an endangered species conference, he said he supports
legislation passed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that would exempt
military bases from portions of the Endangered Species Act.
Manson also questioned expenses resulting from the 30-year-old law.
"If we decide we are going to spend $100 million to save a species we've
imperiled, why are we doing that?" he asked in an interview with the Los
Angeles Times. "Are we doing that for the exercise of saving something that
nature can't take care of regardless of our efforts? If we are saying that
the loss of species in and of itself is inherently bad - I don't think we
know enough about how the world works to say that."
Congressional investigators in September issued a report pressing Fish and
Wildlife to develop guidelines for when to require critical habitats, mainly
to reduce the agency's exposure to lawsuits from environmental groups. The
General Accounting Office said the critical habitat program "faces a serious
crisis" because of expensive lawsuits.
In the past two decades, the number of species listed as endangered or
threatened, and those with critical habitat in the United States, have risen
steadily, to 1,263 and 417, respectively, as of June.
November 14th, 2003 20:57
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