ESA in the news: exemptions, editorials, entrees and more.
The ESA litigation circus continues. Judge Redden is hearing yet another case in Oregon regarding the tension between migrating salmon and the Federal Columbia River Power System. See The Seattle Times. The Center for Biological Diversity notified the federal government of its intentions to sue over two species, the desert tortoise, and the the Moapa dace (a finger-length fish only found at the headwaters of the Muddy River north of Las Vegas). See Las Vegas Review-Journal. Topping off the litigation news, animal rights activists sued Ringling Bros., in a case heading to trial this week. See Wall Street Journal.
Lawsuits like these may have led some California lawmakers to declare the ESA "horrendous" and "economic terrorism," further causing them to seek exemptions to address the "fish against fish" problems of water management in the Sacramento Delta. See The Sacramento Bee, Indybay.org and The Record.net Similar legislative protests are heard from lawmakers in Wyoming upset over the potential ESA protections for prairie dogs. See The Gillette News-Record.
Unlike the lawmakers' narrow proposals, George Will's latest editorial does not stop with a mere local exemption, instead, he declares the Endangered Species Act contrary to Darwinian philosophy. See Washington Post Mr. Will neglects to mention that humanity's excesses have played an enormous role in species decline, but that humble recognition led NOAA to consider increased restrictions on the grouper fishery to protect sea turtles. See St. Pete Times. The Anchorage Daily News even concluded that "80 years ago humans unintentionally removed the wood bison from nature. Now it is our responsibility to put them back."
By the way, if you are responsible for cooking (and catching) dinner, be sure to check the laws. A California homeless man went to jail for eating a steelhead trout, see SanLuisObispo.com, and two Bahamian tourists earned the same fate for posting photos of an iguana dinner on Facebook. See Gizmodo