Federal Changes Threaten Endangered Species: Critics

Feds can dodge review under rule changes
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2008 3:21 AM CDT
Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct. The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether construction projects might harm endangered animals.    (AP Photo/Andrew Vaughan, File)
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(Newser) – Critics are raising an alarm over planned White House changes to the Endangered Species Act, reports the Oregonian. The modifications would give federal agencies such as the US Forest Service more leeway to decide whether activities such as logging would harm endangered species—and such determinations would no longer be scrutinized by outside reviewers.

The changes are aimed at blocking activists from using the law as a legal lever to impose controls on greenhouse gases, and to streamline the review process. Critics charge that the changes would eliminate important conservation safeguards to protect species. (Read more Endangered Species Act stories.)