"Endangered" Species and the WildEarth Guardians

Pulaski note: WildEarth Guardians is the group advocating for the dunes sage brush lizard to be on the endangered species list. From hcn.org -Over the past four years, frustrated conservation groups like WildEarth Guardians have filed more than a thousand petitions to force the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to consider listing specific species, and pursued dozens of lawsuits when the agency missed deadlines. This tide of litigation has overwhelmed agency staffers and swallowed a big chunk of the budget; finally the Service, in its 2012 budget request, asked Congress to cap the number of petitions it had to consider each year. Now, a historic settlement between the Interior Department and WildEarth Guardians U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is expected to approve the plan later today. "For the first time in years, this work plan will give the wildlife professionals of the Fish and Wildlife Service the opportunity to put the needs of species first and extend that safety net to those truly in need of protection,” said Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes in a press release, “rather than having our workload driven by the courts." Optimistic words, but the settlement applies only to WildEarth Guardians, and there's still the Center for Biological Diversity to be reckoned with. More News New Mexico


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