July 23, 2008

harsh criticism of the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse decision from U.S. Senator Wayne Allard

By harsh criticism of the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse decision from U.S. Senator Wayne Allard

As noted previously at PLF on ESA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to delist the Wyoming population of the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse, but chose to keep Endangered Species Act protections in place for the Colorado population of the same species.  Colorado Senator Wayne Allard is not too pleased.  From the Colorado Springs FOX21 website:

“A majority of the time I have spent in Congress I have been dealing with Preble’s in one way or another,” said Allard. “Through several administrations I have been frustrated by entrenched agency bureaucrats who are more interested in placating environmental extremists who want to extort private property owners and hamstring Colorado’s economy by preventing responsible growth instead of following sound scientific principles. The agency seems to disregard the fact that the number of sites known to be occupied by Preble’s has increased from 29 sites to more than 132 sites and counting in the past several years.”

. . .

“I have a hard time understanding how a mouse could wake up in Colorado and be considered threatened, cross over into Wyoming to forage for food and not be threatened, then come back to bed down in Colorado and be threatened again,” continued Allard. “The status of the same mouse could change multiple times in a single day. This recommendation seems to not only ignore scientific data but also seems to completely defy common sense and logic. If it can be delisted in Wyoming, it should be delisted in Colorado.

“The Service cited development, transportation and water development as threats to the mouse in Colorado,” continued Allard. “This ignores the fact that building starts are at their lowest level in 17 years in Colorado. It also dismisses extensive work that has been done at the State and local level on conservation, including approximately $8 million spent on the mouse by Great Outdoors Colorado.”

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Rob Roy Ramey v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

On behalf of a broad coalition of sound science and property rights advocates, PLF filed a petition with the federal government to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse from the Endangered Species Act. The government originally listed the mouse on the theory that it was a distinct subspecies whose numbers were declining. However, later studies showed that the mouse has strong genetic links to other, clearly prolific mice. When considered as part of that larger population, the mouse bears no risk of extinction, and the restrictions on habitat–estimated to cost Wyoming and Colorado landowners more than $200 million over 20 years-should be lifted.

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