October 31, 2008

More media misunderstanding of the proposed ESA regs

By More media misunderstanding of the proposed ESA regs

This article from azcentral.com makes, directly and indirectly, a number of rather gross errors in describing the potential effect of the proposed ESA regulatory changes.  For example, the article observes that "[t]he rules, which are being pushed through administratively without congressional input, would limit the oversight the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has over endangered species."  This blog is aware of no practice wherein Congress is consulted prior to the enactment of regulations.  The whole point of administrative regulations is the carrying out of a quasi-legislative mission vested in the agency by Congress.  To expect further interchange between the Service and Congress prior to enacting the regulations would be redundant.

Another whopper of an inaccuracy comes with this assertion:  "Or in Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service would not have to consult with Fish and Wildlife on whether a logging proposal would affect the Arizona population of bald eagles, which are still considered threatened although eagles elsewhere have been delisted."  This is demonstrably false.  The regulations would still require consultation on any federal action that may have a measurably negative effect on any species or its habitat; and nothing in the regulations would preclude the Service from demanding that the other federal agency consult.  The only exempted actions would be those that have only beneficial effects, or no effect, or effects so slight or difficult to quantify that consultation would serve no purpose.

It is unfortunate that those who oppose the regulatory amendments must resort to blatant misstatements of facts to maintain their position.

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