Author: Brandon Middleton
Does it make sense for the federal government to regulate a species under the Endangered Species Act that is in fact not endangered? Of course not.
Yet that is precisely what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing in maintaining federal protection for the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, a species found throughout California's Central Valley. Although the Service listed the beetle as a threatened species in 1980, the agency recognized in 2006 that the beetle had recovered and recommended that the species be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species.
Four years later, and despite the pleas of California congressmen Dan Lungren and Tom McClintock, the Service has refused to remove the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from the ESA list. This makes no sense when one considers the amount of time and money people and businesses must spend to protect this recovered species.
For example, instead of being fully devoted to maintaining levees and preventing floods in the Golden State, flood control agencies in California must use their limited resources to mitigate for the effects their operations have on the beetle and its habitat, elderberry bushes. And instead using his property for commercial development and provided needed jobs in Sacramento, Bob Slobe and the North Sacramento Land Company are prevented from doing so because the company's land is designated as critical habitat.
That is why Pacific Legal Foundation is taking action on behalf of Slobe, the North Sacramento Land Company, several flood control agencies, and landowner groups throughout California. PLF represents these regulated entities and today filed a petition with the Service demanding that the federal agency delist the valley elderberry longhorn beetle. In the video below, Slobe and I explain why the delisting is necessary and long overdue:
PLF's petition to delist the valley elderberry longhorn beetle may be found here. If the Service fails to adequately respond the petition and continues to regulate this already recovered species, PLF is prepared to go to court in order to force the agency to take action.