Environment Agency Battles Its Own Threats

Steward of endangered species suffers government neglect
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2007 12:55 PM CDT
A pair of bald eagles are seen on display at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh in this Sept. 4, 2002 file photo. The American bald eagle, once nearly extinct, is making a comeback. The government will...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The bald eagle's exit from Endangered Species Act protection drew attention away from the watchdog agency that defends threatened species—and is in peril itself. The budget has been slashed, open jobs go unfilled, and the fate of hundreds of plant and animal species hangs in the balance. The LA Times looks at the troubled Fish and Wildlife Service.

"This administration has starved the endangered species' budget," says a wildlife advocate. Under President Bush, fewer new species have been declared endangered than during any other administration, and most of those were in response to legal action. Career conservationists operate in an atmosphere rife with accusations of high-level meddling—Dick Cheney's name has come up—cronyism, and conflict of interest.