Bush Administration to Weaken Endangered Species Protection

As they say in politics, timing is everything. Just a few minutes ago word arrived that new regulations, which don’t require the approval of Congress, would “reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years.” This would give the Bush administration the necessary 60-day public comment period necessary before the rules are finalized by the Interior Department prior to November elections. Under the draft proposal, produced by the Commerce and Interior departments, dams, mines and other projects that might endanger threatened species will no longer need review by anyone other than federal agencies. This after “half the unilateral evaluations by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that determined wildfire prevention projects were unlikely to harm protected species were not legally or scientifically valid,” according to Dina Capiello, writing for the Associated Press.

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