November 7, 2013

A delisting roll?

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Yesterday, we noted that, thanks to a PLF petition, the Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed to delist the Inyo California towhee, a small desert-dwelling bird.  In further delisting news, the National Marine Fisheries Service has delisted the North Pacific gray whale, the first time the agency has delisted a recovered species since 1994.  Also, NMFS has just proposed for delisting the Eastern Stellar sea lion.  Given that, over the 40-year history of the Act, less than one percent of listed species have been delisted because of recovery, it’s somewhat remarkable to see this proposed and finalized delistings.  Could it be that the agencies seek to undercut efforts to amend the ESA by demonstrating that the Act is “working”?  You be the judge.

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