September 7, 2007
Environmentalists are taking the Bush administration to task for political interference in dozens of cases of endangered species listings. The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity last week filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Interior for improper interference with 55 different endangered species cases in 28 states over the course of the last several years. The lawsuit maintains that unqualified, non-scientist bureaucrats edited scientific documents, overruled scientific experts, and falsified economic analyses to justify lessening endangered species protections mandated by federal law.
At stake in the suit is the removal of one species from the endangered species list, the refusal to grant Endangered Species Act protections to three other species, proposals to remove or downgrade protection for seven animals, and the stripping of protection from 8.7 million acres of critical habitat for a long list of species across the country.
"This is the biggest legal challenge against political interference in the history of the Endangered Species Act," says Kieran Suckling, policy director of...