Interior Report Slams Former Fish and Wildlife Leader

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Julie MacDonald
A report issued by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General harshly criticizes Julie MacDonald, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. According to the report, MacDonald “frequently contested the scientific findings of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists and often replaced their scientific conclusions with her own, even though she was not a biologist. MacDonald also acted as an economist—again without professional training—in her efforts to restrict critical habitat designations (CHD). In fact, her attempts to perform an analysis of the economic impact of one particular CHD resulted in “math errors” of “an order of magnitude” that led to the exclusion of critical habitat from the rule published in the Federal Register. According to FWS personnel, the agency spent approximately $100,000 to republish a corrected version of the rule.”
Investigative Report: The Endangered Species Act and the Conflict between Science and Policy (Office of the Inspector General, Department of the Interior) (PDF)


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