The Environment

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  Species Going Extinct During Long Listing ProcessAugust 31, 2005 00:00 Species are going extinct while going through the endangered listing classification process which has been Lengthened by the Bush Administration. The administration is promoting private conservation initiatives over federal protection.
  Pima County AZ to Embrace Endangered Species ActAugust 30, 2005 00:00 In Pima County, Arizona, leaders have embraced the Endangered Species Act and plan to mold housing ordinances and city plans to conform to endangered species' habitats. County leaders believe that past compliance with the ESA has been to the benefit of the county.
  Both Parties Missing Benefit of Energy Concious CultureAugust 30, 2005 00:00 Although Bush's recent energy bill misses the point, so do the Democrats. Through energy conservation and the use of existing technologies, past experience has shown that the nation could save billions of dollars per year while simultaneously encouraging environmental conservation.
  Christian Environmental Group Sues Govt Over CA ToadAugust 30, 2005 00:00 A Christian environmental group has joined a coalition to sue the federal government over it's decrease in protections for an endangered California toad, the arroyo toad. A case on the toad had previously been seen by John Roberts who asked how 'a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California,' could be subject to federal laws.
  Secret Document Proposes Decreasing National Parks ProtectionsAugust 29, 2005 00:00 The Bush Administration is circulating a secret draft revision of the US national parks operating rules that would decrease the emphasis on protection in favor of useage and access to motorized vehicles.
  Delta Smelt Endangered Due to Lack of ActionAugust 24, 2005 00:00 The endangered California Delta smelt, one of several Delta species that are suffering and near extinction because the CA state agency responsible for endangered species protection is relying too heavily on action by the federal government.
  Court Rules That Bush Administration Violated ESA in ArizonaAugust 24, 2005 00:00 A court has ruled that the Bush Administration blatantly violated the Endangered Species Act in 2002 when the EPA handed over water permitting control to the Arizona government. The ruling does not affect permits already issued, but will require that future permits be regulated by the EPA under the Act.
  Conservation Groups Sue over Lack of Protection for SalamandersAugust 24, 2005 00:00 Conservation groups in the Pacific Northwest are suing the Bush Administration over a failure to respond to petitions to protect two endangered salamander species in the Pacific Northwest. The Administration has also weakened federal protection policy that was designed to protect the species' habitat.
  Bush Mileage Plan Runs on EmptyAugust 24, 2005 00:00 The Bush Administration has come out with more phantom legislation touted to do much without doing anything at all. The updated mileage requirements for new automobiles changes the requirement for light trucks and SUV's, which are already falling in marketshare, while not touching requirements for passenger cars or large trucks, liks Hummers.
  White House Proposes Deceptive Fuel Economy StandardsAugust 23, 2005 00:00 The White House is proposing deceptive new automobile mileage standards at an attempt to look good while providing automakers with loopholes to avoid real change. Par for the course.
  Fed Erred on Lowering Gray Wolf ProtectionsAugust 22, 2005 00:00 Courts have ruled that the federal government erroneously lowered protections for the gray wolf in two separate populations in the US.
  CA, WA, OR to Share Emissions StandardsAugust 22, 2005 00:00 Oregon and Washington are joining California in adopting the most restrictive automobile emissions standards in the US. State governments have resorted to individual controls on pollution as a response to the failure of the federal government to do the same.
  Ocean Species on Verge of Mass ExtinctionAugust 22, 2005 00:00 A variety of species he worlds oceans are on the verge of a mass extinction. With population numbers driven down by loss of habitat, overfishing, accidental bycatch, and pollution, species ranging from sharks to penguins are at risk of disappearing.
  Pentagon Estimates Base Closure Cleanup Costs LowAugust 18, 2005 00:00 The Pentagon has delivered an estimate of US$949 million for the cleanup of 33 major military bases. At $28.75 million per base, or roughly 40 FTE's over 5 years per base, the estimates don't quite seem to add up.
  925 Imperiled Species in VirginiaAugust 18, 2005 00:00 Habitat destruction and pollution have caused the decline in 925 species across the state of Virginia. The state has conducted a landmark state-wide biodiversity study that catalogued the decline in many common species.
  Protecting the North Pacific Right WhaleAugust 17, 2005 00:00 The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a formal request with the Bush adminstration to separately classify the North Pacific right whale as its own species under the Endangered Species Act. The North Pacific right whale has been show to be a separate species from other right whales and is critically endangered.
  Suing to Protect SpeciesAugust 17, 2005 00:00 A coalition of environmental groups is filing a notice to sue the US Fish and Wildlife service. The groups claim that USFW is delaying evaluating critically endangered species, causing a backlog of species to be listed and impeding their protection.
  Internet Enables Black Market Animal TradeAugust 16, 2005 00:00 American sites like Ebay are facilitating the illegal trade in endangered species. Many of these sites do their best to police these activities, but with 1000's of items on sale, policing becomes expensive.
  Study Shows ESA Can WorkAugust 15, 2005 00:00 "About half of species protected are no longer declining and only 35 % of species protected for 13 years or more were still declining. Status trends are partly explained by taxonomy and funding. Species reported as receiving more money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were much more likely to be improving or stable than those receiving less funding."
  Alaskan Sea Otter Population Added to ESLAugust 10, 2005 00:00 The Alaskan sea otter has been added to the endangered species list after seeing significant decline in its numbers over the last 15 years. Scientists are still searching for the reason for the decline.
  NM and TX Snails and Shrimp Added to ESLAugust 10, 2005 00:00 Three New Mexico and Texas freshwater snail and shrimp species have been added to the endangered species list. The species, although found in a National Wildlife Refuge, are threatened by poor groundwater quality and habitat destruction, partly from oil and gas drilling.
  CA Fish and Game Allows Inappropriate LoggingAugust 09, 2005 00:00 The California Department of Fish and Game approved permits to allow companies to log endangered bird and salmon habitat without proper review. The logging had previously been halted when courts said that the logging plans violated state conservation law.
  Cyanide Leaching OK in CO Gold MinesAugust 07, 2005 00:00 Cyanide, used to leach gold out of mine tailings, is OK to use in Colorado unless a state mining agency changes its mind. Cyanide mining can lead to toxic waste and to animal kills if not appropriately isolated. Regulations preempt local law in favor of state law.
  Woves Could Mitgate Wasting Disease in RockiesAugust 07, 2005 00:00 A park service study suggests that the reintroduction of wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park could help reduce the infections of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk by scattering herds and removing sick animals from the population.
  Democratic Senator Helps Open Western CO for DrillingAugust 04, 2005 00:00 Democratic freshman Senator Ken Salazar has helped open up western Colorado for oil shale exploration. The new energy bill includes a provision to open up from 5,000 acres to 50,000 acres the amount of federal land able to be leased for oil shale drilling. Oil shale exploitation is a still unproven technique of attempting to extract petroleum from solid, but porous rock. It may take more energy to extract the petroleum than is gained from the process.
  Limits on Environmental Absorption of CO2August 04, 2005 00:00 Scientists have published papers describing a new computer model that shows that there are limits to oceanic and plant absorption of CO2 that may be reached within decades. The findings could have further implications for CO2-driven climate change.
  US, World Need to Enforce Environmental LawsAugust 03, 2005 00:00 Graphic photos of the butchering of a young, protected whale shark in South Africa illustrate the need for better education about and enforcement of environmental laws around the world.
  Courts Block Federal Changes to NW Logging RulesAugust 03, 2005 00:00 A federal court decision has blocked a rule change by the Bush administration to logging rules in the northwest that could have doubled the amount of federal land exposed to logging and threatened rare species.
  Black-footed Ferret Up for ReviewAugust 01, 2005 00:00 An experimental, reintroduced population of black-footed ferrets in Wyoming is up for review under the policies of the Endangered Species Act. Comments on the review are due to the USFWS by Sept. 6.
  Congressman Case Fights Invasive SpeciesAugust 01, 2005 00:00 Congressman Ed Case (D-HI) has submitted a bill that would force increased federal cargo inspections to help protect Hawaii's fragile ecosystems from invasive species. Invasive species kill local wildlife, damaging the tourism and agriculture industries.
  Grizzly Bear may be Delisted from ESAAugust 01, 2005 00:00 The grizzly bear population in Yellowstone park may be delisted from the Endangered Species List even though the recovered population of 600 is well short of the estimated 2000 to 3000 required to ensure the population's survival. The move is described as purely political.
  Feds Violated ESA in 2001 CA CaseAugust 01, 2005 00:00 A court has ruled that the federal government voilated the Endangered Species Act in 2001 by renewing water contracts that allowed a 60-mile stretch of the San Joaquin river to remain bone-dry. The lack of water flow threatens salmon habitat and other animals that use California's 2nd longest river.
  Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Larger than ExpectedAugust 01, 2005 00:00 The dead zone, or anoxic region, in the Gulf of Mexico caused by fertilizer runoff from the Mississippi River is expected to possibly be larger than the states of Connecticut and New Jersey this year. Scientists are hoping that an active hurricane season may stir up the Gulf and shrink the dead area.