Endangered Species Act Under Assault: Send Comments to Sec. Kempthorne
On August 11th, Dirk Kempthorne, secretary of the Interior, announced devastating changes to the Endangered Species Act, signaling the end of protection for thousands of imperiled species.
The new regulations would:
- Exempt thousands of federal activities from review under the Endangered Species Act;
- Eliminate checks and balances of independent oversight;
- Limit which effects can be considered harmful;
- Prevent consideration of a project's contribution to global warming;
- Set an inadequate 60-day deadline for wildlife experts to evaluate a project in the instances when they are invited to participate -- or else the project gets an automatic green light;
- Enable large-scale projects to go unreviewed by dividing them into hundreds of small projects.
In addition, last week Kempthorne and Bush tried to slip another proposed rule change under the radar that would limit protection of a species only to where it is currently found.
Under the current rule a species has protection in its entire historical range. However many endangered species have lost substantial portions of that range. For example; under the proposed changes, prior to being reintroduced, the California condor would only have been listed in zoos.
We must stop Kempthorne from fatally crippling our nation's most successful wildlife law.