White House May Have Doomed Bumblebee Species

Executive order halts move to protect species
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2017 1:49 AM CST
White House May Have Doomed Bumblebee Species
This 2016 photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota.   (Sarah Foltz Jordan/The Xerces Society via AP)

President Trump doesn't have anything in particular against bumblebees, as far as anybody knows, but his administration may still have doomed a struggling species. The rusty patched bumblebee was supposed to be officially added to the endangered species list Friday, after a 30-day waiting period following one of former President Obama's last-minute acts in office, but the action has been frozen as part of Trump's executive order freezing all pending regulations for 60 days, and the bee's supporters are worried. "We don't think this is just a freeze," Rebecca Riley, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, tells Popular Science. "It's an opportunity for the administration to revoke the rule entirely."

"The Trump administration has put the rusty patched bumblebee back on the path to extinction," Riley said in a statement. "This bee is one of the most critically endangered species in the country and we can save it—but not if the White House stands in the way." Environmentalists warned that delays in adding protections could be catastrophic for the bumblebee species, which has seen its population plummet by 90% since the late 1990s, though lobbyist groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation praised the freeze, saying the "burden" of Endangered Species Act regulations "negatively affects rural quality of life and jeopardizes the overall agriculture economy," Gizmodo reports. (More bumblebees stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.