Department of Interior


The Department of Interior Does Not Care What You Think About Endangered Species

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The Department of Interior simultaneously announced three majorly flawed proposals that would radically transform how the Endangered Species Act functions and gave the public just 60 days to provide feedback. Yesterday, without providing any reasoning, the department denied a request from UCS to extend the comment period. That means you have six more days to file a comment (Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3). This guide from UCS can help you craft an effective comment on one or all of these rules. Read more >

Photo: NCinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)
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The endangered black-footed ferret. Photo: USFWS Mountain-prairie

Proposed Changes to the Endangered Species Act Threaten Wildlife

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

The Trump Administration is threatening species, land conservation, and human health and wellbeing by rolling back our health, safety, and environmental protections. This time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are attempting to undercut the scientific basis of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by proposing changes that will make it less effective, even increasing the chances that species will go extinct. Read more >

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Praire
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UCS Survey Shows Interior Department is Worse Than We Thought—And That’s Saying Something

, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Democracy

Can scientific staff at the US Department of the Interior rest easy knowing that their colleagues at other agencies have it worse when it comes to political interference?

Survey says: Nope. Read more >

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The endangered margay. Photo: Proyecto Asis/Flickr

The Endangered Species Act is Itself Endangered

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

In the last two weeks, both the Senate and House have introduced bills proposing damaging amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the leading piece of science-based legislation used to protect and recover biodiversity in the United States. Notably, Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and long-time critic of the Act, released a discussion draft of the bill he’s been working on entitled, “the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.” The changes to the Act would introduce more routes for political interference under the guise of increased transparency, while relegating science to an afterthought instead of the basis upon which Endangered Species Act decisions are made. An EPW hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning, where representatives from Wyoming, Colorado, and Virginia will testify before the committee on the proposed changes to the Act.

Read more >

Photo: Proyecto Asis
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Department of Interior Buries Communications Policy After Attempting to Justify Muzzling Scientists

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times broke the story about the new policy at the U.S. Geological Survey requiring scientists to get permission before speaking to reporters about science. In an attempt to justify the muzzling, a department spokesperson said they were just following an Obama-era communications policy (sound familiar?). After reporters linked to the policy, it was removed from its previous location and buried deep in the DOI website. You can find it there as a Word document; I’ve made a PDF available hereRead more >

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