TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.- More than three dozen scientists have signed a letter to protest a new Bush administration interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, saying it jeopardizes animals such as wolves and grizzly bears.
The new reading of the law proposed by Interior Department Solicitor David Bernhardt would enable the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect animals and plants only where they are battling for survival. The agency wouldn’t have to protect them where they’re in good shape.
The proposed changes would “have real and profoundly detrimental impacts on the conservation of many species and the habitat upon which they depend,” said the letter, signed by 38 prominent wildlife biologists and environmental ethics specialists.
It [the letter] was being sent this week to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and leaders of congressional committees that oversee the department.