Salazar, science and centrism
Secretary Salazar appears to be well on his way towards moving the Department of Interior back to a more centrist position. The agency has already listed two new endangered species (the reticulated flatwoods salamander and today's hawaiian vine), but also carried forward the Bush administration's partial delisting of the wolf in Montana. Although the decision may be controversial with environmentalists, an insightful blog by the questionable authority notes that whatever your view of the merits, the absence of direct White House involvement that decision is a refreshing sign that science, not politics, may be returning to the forefront in ESA decision-making. See related New York Times article. Similarly, the nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, David Hayes said that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) "is not well suited to dealing with climate change, which is a global phenomenon" and further stated that Secretary Salazar favors "commonsense" implementation of the ESA. See Van Ness Feldman post.