Obama reverses Bush rule changes on endangered species

Mar 03, 2009
A polar bear cub seeks the attention of its mother on the frozen tundra. President Barack Obama on Tuesday restored rules requiring assessment by wildlife experts on the impact of government projects on endangered species, revoking the policy of the former Bush administration.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday restored rules requiring assessment by wildlife experts on the impact of government projects on endangered species, revoking the policy of the former Bush administration.

"The work of scientists and experts in my administration, including right here in the Interior Department, will be respected," Obama said.

"For more than three decades, the endangered species act has successfully protected our nation's most threatened wildlife."

"We should be looking for ways to improve it, not weaken it."

The Bush administration last year changed rules under the Endangered Species Act that let government projects go ahead without an independent review by the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Critics and environmental groups said the move could result in further harm to already endangered species and welcomed Obama's executive order.

"The Bush rules would have allowed agencies with little or no wildlife expertise to make decisions that could mean life or death for animals like the polar bear," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club.

"When it comes to protecting wildlife, we should listen to the scientists who spend their lives studying these animals."

"Our wildlife are clearly in much better hands now. President Obama is bringing science back into decision-making."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: No-take marine reserves a no-win for seahorses

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

Aug 29, 2014

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

The devastating spread of the mountain pine beetle

Aug 27, 2014

When the mountain pine beetle began blazing a path across forests in British Columbia and Alberta, nobody could have imagined the extent of the damage to come. But as the insect devastated pine forests and ...

Manatees could lose their endangered species status

Aug 19, 2014

About 2,500 manatees have perished in Florida over the last four years, heightening tension between conservationists and property owners as federal officials prepare to decide whether to down-list the creature to threatened ...

Recommended for you

Dolphin hunting season kicks off in Japan

12 hours ago

The controversial six-month dolphin hunting season began on Monday in the infamous town of Taiji, but bad weather would delay any killing, a local official told AFP.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

photojack
3 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2009
We all know Bush was trying to gut environmental protections long ago. He made several earlier attempts, but was forced back by key environmental groups and wiser heads. He damaged or destroyed almost everything he touched. History will not judge him kindly. I am only too glad to see him gone and the most Progressive candidate in decades voted in to correct the morass Bush left us in. Obama has the vision and the team of experts to see us through. He has solely put science back in its rightful place in American society. It will help drive the economic recovery through research and development, new innovations, technologies and business. Bravo to Obama for his future vision and insight.
GuestLee
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2009
The lack of true objectivity forced the rules Bush implemented. Decisions cannot be properly made in a vacuum, particularly one that is predisposed to hyperventilating.

As for Bush, I doubt it will be long before you wish his return. Socialism and communism have been tried and shown to be absolute failures.

I had hoped for more objectivity on this site.