Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ecological Society Of America Criticizes Administration's Overhaul Of The Endangered Species Act

Date:
August 26, 2008
Source:
Ecological Society of America
Summary:
The Ecological Society of America today criticized the Bush administration's Aug. 15 proposal to reinterpret the Endangered Species Act, which would impose regulatory changes eliminating the requirement for federal projects to undergo independent scientific review. The proposal would allow federal agencies to decide for themselves whether their projects would harm endangered animals and plants.

The Ecological Society of America today criticized the Bush administration's August 15 proposal to reinterpret the Endangered Species Act, which would impose regulatory changes eliminating the requirement for federal projects to undergo independent scientific review.

Related Articles


The proposal would allow federal agencies to decide for themselves whether their projects would harm endangered plants and animals.

"The concept of independent scientific review has been in practice since the 18th century and is crucial to ensuring that ideas and proposed work are scientifically sound," said Alison Power, president of the Society and professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. "This overhaul of the Endangered Species Act would place the fate of rare species in the hands of government stakeholders who are not qualified to assess the environmental impacts of their activities."

The Endangered Species Act protects more than 2000 of the United States' rarest plants and animals. Ranging from green sea turtles to Santa Cruz cypress trees, these species are not only national treasures, but also biological resources and often integral parts of their ecosystems.

Under the current Act, which has been in effect since 1973, agencies are required to consult with scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service to assess potential ecological threats of their proposed projects. The administration now claims that agencies possess the expertise to judge the potential risks of their own projects and could opt to forgo the consultation.

The Bush proposal would present a conflict of interest, erasing the distinction between scientific review and politics. But proponents argue that the agencies would be held accountable and would suffer strict repercussions if their work negatively affected endangered species or their habitats. Power says, however, that this logic would provide little incentive for agencies to assess their work as rigorously as an unbiased reviewer.

"What if we allowed pharmaceutical companies to approve and distribute drugs without consulting the Food and Drug Administration?" she asks. "The result would spell potential disaster for humans. In this case, the vulnerable party is our environment."

Recently, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management conducted an internal assessment to determine the effects of wildfire prevention projects on endangered species. A follow-up evaluation by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service revealed that about half these evaluations were lawfully and scientifically invalid.

The Society believes that independent scientific review is a critical part of the Endangered Species Act and that eliminating this part of the process will result in environmental neglect at best and species extinctions at worst. The administration's proposal would compromise our ecosystems' capacity to provide essential services, such as mitigating pollution, regulating climate and providing natural resources. Exposing the most vulnerable species to the threats that will result from the Bush proposal will endanger our ecological support system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecological Society of America. "Ecological Society Of America Criticizes Administration's Overhaul Of The Endangered Species Act." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826144856.htm>.
Ecological Society of America. (2008, August 26). Ecological Society Of America Criticizes Administration's Overhaul Of The Endangered Species Act. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826144856.htm
Ecological Society of America. "Ecological Society Of America Criticizes Administration's Overhaul Of The Endangered Species Act." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826144856.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins