NANFA-L-- Endangered Species Act

Gerald Pottern (gbpottern at
Thu, 22 Sep 2005 10:13:32 -0700 (PDT)

Moon - none of the interesting plants you mentioned are protected by the Federal ESA. There might nave been Fed listed species there too, but did the developer hire a qualified biologist to conduct thorough surveys at the right time of year ? I'm guessing not, if it was a private rather than public project. Cant blame the ESA for that. Some of those plants found only in pocosin & savanna communities in SE NC are listed as E or T under the NC Plant Protection Act, but that law and the NC Endangered Wildlife Act only protect against collecting and trade - neither has any habitat protection provision. When those acts were written, there's no way the NC legislature would have passed them if they "interfered" with property development - it was a choice of either a weak act or NO act. So yes, you can legally bulldoze over state-listed plants and animals, but you need state permits if you want to collect & trade them. Frustrating for sure, but better than nothing. But as Jan & other
pointed out, having protection status (state or federal) means attention & money for surveys and reserach, and in some cases (public infrastructure projects) the permit applicants must at least try to avoid/minimize imapcts. Also, the federal courts' SWANCC decision a few years ago to remove "isolated" wetlands from Clean Water Act protection was a big factor in those massive land draining & clearing projects in SE NC. The state passed its own wetlands law to protect wetlands excluded from CWA, but there was a gap of several months (builder influenced of course) between the end of Federal protection and start of State protection. Every available dozer was mobilized during that window of opportunity. -- gerald

>>Moon wrote : some people smarter than me (yeah I thought that was unlikely too) say it often hurts by giving people an incentive to kill any endangered species they might find on
their land so they can do what ever it is they want with the land. I know here in
SENC I've seen many hundreds of acres made into housing developments and
golf courses by bulldozing any area that had protected plants growing there. I was
very familiar with one site, wonderful place of swamps, soft ground, dan
small ponds. there were everything from pond pines to venus fly traps, sundews, and
pitcher plants. All gone now, the land was drained and has to be consistently
drained by under ground pumps to keep it from going back to marsh again. Either ESA
has no teeth at all or it very easy to get around if you grease the right palms.
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