Ruth Sandra Sperling
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The Endangered Species Act has been an important environmental tool for getting key habitat for species that are threatened or endangered protected.
I feel that this is very important, because I believe that all life on Earth is part of the web of life -- and that unfortunately human impact has such a negative effect on other species that they become threatened or endangered.
What I am really worried about is that the Bush administration wants to make some key changes to this Act - to have these changes take effect before Barack Obama is sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2009 - the rules making these changes must be published by this Friday, Nov. 21, 2008.
Currently (before any changes are made), independent wildlife biologists who work with certain species have to sign off on certain projects -- sometimes requiring modifications to projects so that species will be better protected.
I am not sure exactly what new rules they are trying to write and publish before this Friday, Nov. 19th, but I know that some of them involve eliminating the input of our own federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases.
The federal agency people doing the project will make the decisions themselves regarding any endangered species.
From the way I look at things, this strikes me as rather strange and not the proper way to go about things.
Federal wildlife scientists are experts in wildlife and what they need to survive. They have key data to do environmental analysis on projects.
To cut them out of the process in determining how a project could affect relevant species means not having experts on matters relevant to a project involved, which means you may be missing key data in planning and/or doing a project.
I do not agree with those who want to make these changes.
I feel that federal wildlife scientists should have the ability to do something to modify or even stop a project if they think the project is really a danger to some species -- especially if it is a species that plays a major roll in some environment.
See this online article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081120/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/bush_endangered_species;_ylt=AoyaOiv5ZeJxBBj2KJ1Aptes0NUE