Re: NANFA-- Bush puts hold on "dead zone" plan

Christopher Scharpf (
Fri, 02 Feb 2001 15:57:50 -0400

J.R. said:

>I'll have to say that I'm close to quite a few USFWS people in charge of
>federal listings. They are very frustrated over these suits. I'm frustrated
>over these suits! They're certainly not doing any good for the animals
>involved! It has literally tied up so much of the available listing funds (as
>well as all of the time of the agency personnel) that they couldn't proceed
>with listings (except under extreme emergency situations) if they wanted to.
>This is also taking away funds for the already strapped recovery programs!
>Sometimes environmental groups shoot themselves in the foot over the
>stupidest things! In this case, I don't think they're thinking about the
>critters involved!

For what it's worth, here's the opinion of Ray Vaughan, the environmental lawyer
who successfully sued the USFWS to list the Alabama sturgeon:

"The stated reason why the FWS has issued this moratorium on listings is that
they claim that lawsuits by environmental groups over critical habitat
designations have so crippled the agency that work on critical habitat is all
they can do. Basically, they are saying that because they got caught breaking
the law so many times in the past by refusing to designate critical habitat
(which the ESA requires), they are going to break the law again by abandoning
their duty to list imperiled species. Interestingly enough, despite this claim
of a lack of funds to do their work, the FWS has never bothered to request an
adequate amount of funding from Congress. They have known for more than a decade
that the ESA programs are underfunded, and they have perversely liked it that

Right now, Ray Vaughan is suing the USFWS to list the Vermilion darter as

Chris Scharpf

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