The Endangered Species Act rules may undergo a wide range of possible changes, as the federal government is working to rewrite it in a major way. But, will the changes be contentious?
According to some environmentalists, who got the documents from federal employees, are worrying about the changes’ possibility of hurting rare species. They say that the documents as been leaked being reported first by Salon.com reflect the current thinking of the agency.
Heading the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, Dale Hall says that his staff has been considering a wide range of possible changes. He says,
We’re looking at all aspects of the law. We’re trying to figure out all those things that will help us be better at recovering species.
It’s really a starting point, a beginning of a process. It’s not one that represents any of the latest thinking that we have.
Many of the proposals spring from lawsuits environmental groups have won over from the government in recent years. According to environmentalists, taken as a whole, the proposals would gut protections for rare animals and plants. It, also at the same time, helps a whole industry ranging from construction to hydroelectricity.
The government has been ordered by the judge to find ways to ‘better’ protect the salmon. But, according to John Kostyack, of the National Wildlife Federation, under the new proposals such an obligation would disappear!
It could happen that the government could keep giving permission to industries for doing the ‘species-harming’ things, even if it is on public land.
As long as you weren’t worsening an already bad situation, you have no responsibility.