Monday, March 08, 2010


We really have nothing more to say, except, once again, we're impressed with Western Watersheds Project and Advocates for the West for grabbing the agencies by the nether regions: Group challenges sage grouse finding
The department announced Friday that federal protection as an endangered or threatened species is warranted but precluded by higher priorities - species deemed in more dire need of protection right now.

Western Watersheds questioned that finding in a supplemental complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.

"The sage grouse is, in our judgment, as qualified as any species on the candidate list for the protections of the act," Jon Marvel, director of Western Watersheds, said Monday. "Of course they should be acting on all of these species, and why aren't they?"

The new complaint calls the candidate species list "a black hole from which few species ever emerge, and under which they receive no ESA protection." The decision to put the sage grouse on the list was "arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law," the group claims.
The agencies apparently don't do a goddamn thing their corporate handlers don't approve of. The Court is the only thing keeping species viable, wildernesses intact (sort of), and the process open and transparent.

Thank heaven for lawyers!

Good on ya, WWP. (And, despite all the press releases from myriad conservation groups last week, it was really WWP and the Sagebrush Sea Campaign of WildEarth Guardians that did the heavy-lifting on sage-grouse. It will be their eventual victory. Writing press releases doesn't count as work.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks to WWP and WildEarth Guardians for all their efforts on the sage grouse.

I saw a comment on another blog grumbling about who pays the lawyers. Well in part, I do, for one---both the plaintiff's lawyers via our contributions to these two organizations, and the defense, via our tax dollars. I'd much prefer that the government obeyed the law in the first place and saved everybody both money and trouble, but that doesn't appear likely anytime soon.

Demarcated Landscapes said...

Grumblers should be asking who pays the agencies to make these illegal decisions. Taxpayer dollars only pay the plaintiff attorneys if they prevail- which means the government has done something wrong.

In addition to placing the blame on the wrong parties, grumblers should realize that the agencies also use the system. In the case of sage-grouse, it's clear that the USFWS knows the critter is in trouble. However, they are beholden to the industries that seek to exploit SG habitat. So, they find the species "precluded," and wait for the Courts to order otherwise. Then, the agencies themselves can grumble that the devil [enviros] made them do it and they have political cover with their buddies, the industries. It's a game and yes, it's broken. But the break starts where the agencies stayed in bed with the developers, oil and gas companies, ranchers, etc. instead of following the law. The litigants are just trying to patch the cracks before species go extinct.

Thank heavens for citizen lawsuits and members of advocacy organizations. It's awful to imagine where we would be without them.

Anonymous said...

Everybody needs to tell the truth about what is going on with the so called great sage grouse debate,each side has there own paid people who do all the counts,fly overs,and studies.Each side will tell you that they are the ones with the correct findings,everybody needs to start working together on all of the issues,nobody wins with the way things are done now