Will Obama transform ESA implementation? (A gaggle of ESA news from the google gadget...)
"Now what?" asks Plenty. With our nation soon to undergo a huge leadership transition thanks to the election of Barack Obama, could it be that the implementation of the Endangered Species Act could radically change too? California Attorney General Brown has repeatedly called the Bush administration's proposed changes to the ESA consultation process illegal, warning the Department of Interior that its proposed changes could put entire species and ecosystems at risk for complete destruction. See Imperial Valley News. The California AG's concerns, and the call for repeal of the proposed regulations, have been echoed elsewhere, from Audubon to the Baltimore Sun. In the Pacific Northwest, in an unprecedented convergence, timber industry reps and environmentalists have reached an agreement on the need for changes in the Bush administrations approach to Oregon timber management. See Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Oregonian. Indeed, with a touch of sarcasm, Mongabay.com noted that in his remaining weeks, "President Bush aims to extend his environmental legacy," and even the National Journal has wondered whether the Bush administrations regulations would "help or hurt." See also, NY Times, "So little time, so much damage."
Photo of a spiny dogfish, from the Guardian, citing Getty images.
The "now what" question reaches well beyond the 50 states. On the international front, pressure for the Obama administration to green the environmental management practices of the United States is virtually certain. Canada remains concerned about killer whale populations, says the ChronicleHerald.ca. Poaching remains a huge international problem, as exemplified by a Mongabay.com report on Malaysian wildlife. And changes to fisheries regulation may be necessary, as suggested by the U.K. story reported by the Times online, the Scotsman, and the Guardian, about the disappearance of sharks and rays due to overfishing, based on a study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Now what? Perhaps something completely different...