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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.


Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.


Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« FWS announces status review for Gunnison sage grouse | Main| ESA update: News, Musings, Federal Register announcements and other holiday happenings »

Stimulus funds save panthers from palm trees, Judge Redden pleased with progress on salmon species management, but some environmentalists still concerned.

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Panthers vs. Palm Trees?  Yup.  And the panther won -- thanks to stimulus funds! -- as explained by Mother Nature Network, relying on information from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: "If you like your conservation efforts served with a nice dusting of irony, consider what’s happening at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge near Naples, Fla. Workers there are about to start tearing down dense stands of the official Florida state tree, the cabbage palm, in order to benefit the official state animal, the endangered Florida panther, that lives in the refuge...  the fact is that the cabbage palms have grown so thick in places on the refuge that they are crowding out other plants that are necessary food for deer. That means the deer move on to find better feeding areas, and the panthers are deprived of the deer they need to prey on.  So the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, hired Wildland Services, Inc., of Moore Haven, Fla., to cut down the invasive cabbage palms on more than 1,700 acres inside the refuge. The $171,000 contract is being funded by money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, popularly known as stimulus funds."  (Hat tip to Phil Kloer, USFWS, photo below from  See also, Cape Coral Daily Breeze.

Despite the use of stimulus funds for such environmental projects, eco-advocates from WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity remain unhappy with the Obama Administration, the New York Times reports.  "There is no longer a clear ideological opposition to endangered species, but they have not exactly made it their priority, either," the Gray Lady quotes Noah Greenwald, CBD spokesperson, to say of the Obama administration.  For a similar perspective, see the Tallahassee Environmental News Examiner.  The slow listing decisions are not the only ESA-related (in)actions upsetting the green-minded.   Although recently rejected by a federal judge, see AP, efforts by the Federal government to delist the grizzly bear remain a sources of significant environmentalist angst.  See criticisms in Legal Planet, but also note the support previously offered by National Wildlife Federation

Then again, perhaps the critics should consider themselves fortunate to have any White House support at all.  In contrast, the Massachusetts (!) legislature is debating a bill to dramatically reduce project review or permit requirements pursuant to the Commonwealth's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.  See the Valley Advocate.  

But when it comes to executive branch efforts related to endangered and threatened salmonid species in the Pacific Northwest, at least one rather important person -- U.S. District Court Judge James Redden -- is pleased with the administration.  At a hearing on Monday discussing operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System, the Judge told Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "I think you've done a good job."  See story in The Idaho Statesman, official statement by Ms. Lubchenco, and prior ESA blawg discussing the Federal government's filings.  

Scientists are becoming more adept at counting the secretive Florida panther, see, although there are four fewer of the big cat due to vehicle collisions in October and November.  Indeed, vehicle collisions are an enormous problem for the species.  Despite a population estimate of less than 100 panthers, 12 have been killed in 2009 alone.