An environmental group plans the largest ever legal action in the history of the Endangered Species Act.

Mongabay

An environmental group plans the largest ever legal action in the history of the Endangered Species Act.

Wednesday the Center for Biological Diversity said it would sue the Department of the Interior over 55 endangered species in 28 states and seek restoration of 8.7 million acres of protected habitat stripped by government actions.

“This is the biggest legal challenge against political interference in the history of the Endangered Species Act,” said Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “It puts the Bush administration on trial at every level for systematically squelching government scientists and installing a cadre of political hatchet men in positions of power.”

The group says that many of the decisions were engineered by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Julie MacDonald, who resigned in following a embarrassing investigation by the inspector general of misconduct at the Department of the Interior. MacDonald was accused of overruling of scientific experts and allowing industry lobbyists to illegally review internal documents.

“The Bush administration has tried to keep a lid on its growing endangered species scandal by scapegoating Julie MacDonald,” said Suckling, “but the corruption goes much deeper than one disgraced bureaucrat. It reaches into the White House itself through the Office of Management and Budget. By attacking the problem systematically through this national lawsuit, we will expose just how thoroughly the distain for science and for wildlife pervades the Bush administration’s endangered species program.”

Among the 55 species in the legal filing are the marbled murrelet (CA, OR, WA), Florida manatee (SC to TX), Arctic grayling (MT), West Virginia northern flying squirrel (WV), California least tern (CA), brown pelican (LA, TX, PR, VI), California red-legged frog (CA), arroyo toad (CA), Mexican garter snake (AZ), piping plover (NC to TX), snowy plover (CA, OR, WA) and Preble’s jumping meadow mouse (CO, WY).

California had the most affected species with 24, followed by Texas (16) and New Mexico (9).

The Center for Biological Diversity says that in many of the cases, “government and university scientists carefully documented the editing of scientific documents, overruling of scientific experts, and falsification of economic analyses.”

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1 Comment

Filed under conservation, extinction, nature, wildlife

One response to “An environmental group plans the largest ever legal action in the history of the Endangered Species Act.

  1. Anonymous

    sounds like a great place to drill for oil

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