ESA in the news: California sues Interior over consultation regulations
California Attorney General Brown pushes forward with a lawsuit challenging the Bush administration's proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act's consultation regulations, and according to the LA Times,Ken Alex, senior assistant attorney general, said California has won practically every case that has been ruled on. (I think he forgot about the Delta smelt cases.) Moving on to more hopeful topics, the The Grand Island Independent offers an article on the incremental but continuing evolution of a potential Bush administration success story, the Platte River recovery program. Hardly satisfied with one good news story, Interior Secretary nominee Salazar wants to restore the reputation of the Department of Interior, according to the Denver Post. Reaching beyond the U.S. borders, ebay promises to do more in 2009 to help protect elephants and avoid the ivory trade. By the way, the ESA turned 35 this week, as noted by the Tuscaloosa News.
KEITHINKING: As noted in my recent tweet (from my RSS twitter feed), California's suit against the Federal government could create unique opportunities for the Obama administration to craft a settlement and consent decree that quickly undoes Secretary Kempthorne's efforts to amend the ESA Section 7 consultation process. Also, a recent Miami Herald editorial noted that "the Bush administration this month gave the National Rifle Association a parting gift by lifting a decades-long ban on concealed weapons in national parks." As a result, concealed weapons are now legal in Everglades National Park. Perhaps these gun owners can do their part for endangered species and shooting the pythons that threaten to eat native wildlife? (But don't forget, we need to change the no hunting and no collecting rules too, but then again, excessive hunting and poaching was why Everglades National Park was created in the first place, so...)
Thanks to irresponsible pet owners, pythons now breed in the Everglades, and present a significant invasive species management problem . See Davidson College's Everglades Burmese Python Project. Photos above from South Florida Water Management District. See also this photo from Wikimediacommons.