FWS


4 Ways to Discuss Congressional Budget Riders at the Dinner Table this Thanksgiving

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Holiday gatherings with the family can be awkward, especially if you aren’t prepared for the inevitable table talk. Feeling like you don’t have enough fodder to sustain a conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table this month?

Fret not! Every year around this time, my colleagues write about the budget process as the clock ticks for Congress to pass a clean budget – that is, a budget free from “poison pill” policy provisions and seemingly innocuous regulatory process riders that would hamper agencies from utilizing the best available science in rulemaking. These anti-science riders are extraneous special interest policies tacked onto a must-pass spending bill, a sort of parasitic mutualism, if you will. Read more >

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Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the Upcoming Budget Fight

, Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy

When it comes to Congress, we know that budgets are about more than just money. Back in April, I warned that we shouldn’t let the federal budget process become a playground for special interests. Basically, with little to no debate, policymakers will exploit the process and attempt to sneak in harmful, ideological provisions that undermine the use of science in the policymaking process and help rig the system for special interests. Read more >

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Endangered Columbian white-tailed deer on Tenasillahe Island at Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

New Endangered Species Peer-Review Policy Scores A Point for Independent Science

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released an update to its peer review policy for endangered species listings. The new policy takes a step forward in terms of safeguarding the science that informs endangered species listing decisions. While the provisions could be stronger in a few areas, the new policy takes strong steps toward more robust and transparent peer-review at the agency, following efforts by a group of independent scientists working with the Union of Concerned Scientists and others to improve science-based decisions around endangered species. Read more >

Photo: Blu Chaney, USFWS: CC BY 2.0/Flickr
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Berkeley Breathed, and the Great Barrier Reef: What’s Worth Reading This Week

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

This has been quite the week. From the overwhelming to the fascinating to the touching, here’s what I’ve found worth reading: Read more >

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Taking a Stand for Science: Documents Show FWS Scientists Disagreed with Wolverine Decision

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

What do sage grouse, wolves, and burying beetles have to do with politics? A lot when we look at how decisions to protect or not protect these species have gotten tied into political debates. Instead of discussions focused on whether populations of these species are threatened, we’ve instead had conversations about the intersection of sage grouse territory with fracking sites, how wolf conservation impacts interstate commerce, and whether burying beetle habitat overlapped with Keystone XL pipeline plans. Now scientists are stepping up to bring the conversation back to science. Read more >

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