Interior Dept. Agrees to Settle Status of 757 Endangered Species by 2018
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (photo: Sky Jacobs, Wikipedia)
The Department of the Interior has agreed to a potentially landmark settlement with environmentalists that will impact more than 700 species considered threatened or endangered.
By 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service promises to decide whether to protect 757 species of plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act. The deal affects 26 bird, 31 mammal, 67 fish, 22 reptile, 33 amphibian, 197 plant and 381 invertebrate species.
The settlement came after government lawyers reached agreement in May with the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians to cease litigation over the listing of several endangered species.
Some of the species involved in the case have been fought over for decades. The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, for example, which lives in southern Arizona and Texas, has been litigated since the mid-1990s. It was placed on the Endangered Species list in 1997, but removed after industry pressure in 2006.
Landmark Agreements on Endangered Species (by Sonya Angelica Diehn, Courthouse News Service)
An Historic Agreement (WildEarth Guardians)
Settlement Agreement (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)
Obama and Endangered Species: Better than Bush, Worse than Clinton (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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