Another black mark for Bush on conservation

Raincoast Conservation Society

Grizzly Politics in British Columbia
By Chris Genovali
Executive Director

Raincoast has attained a copy of a soon-to-be published opinion piece that calls for the grizzly bear to be de-listed from the US Endangered Species Act. The opinion piece is scheduled to appear in the next issue of the International Bear Association's official publication, urging the association's membership to support the Bush administration's proposed grizzly de-listing. One of the signatories, Matt Austin, works for the Biodiversity Branch in the BC Ministry of the Environment as a Species Specialist.

The Bush administration is pushing the grizzly bear de-listing for purely political reasons in order to make it easier for industry to log, mine and drill for oil and gas on public land in the US. The BC government, through
Matt Austin, is supporting this politicized effort in the US in order to lower the bar for grizzly bear protection in Canada. It is highly inappropriate, but not unexpected given their track record, for this ministry to publicly support this political maneuver by the Bush administration. This is clearly beyond the purview of provincial civil servants and once again reveals the biased political motivations of the bureaucrats in the BC government who are ostensibly in charge of managing grizzly bears.

The move to de-list the grizzly is highly controversial and has been roundly criticized by US conservation
organizations and non-government scientists alike. The administration proposes to start by de-listing the Yellowstone population, which has grown from 200 bears in 1975 to approximately 600 now. The de-listing would leave Yellowstone grizzlies without current protections under the Endangered Species Act in some 3 million acres outside their core habitat.

Is it a coincidence that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has recently recommended to the federal minister of the
environment, Stephane Dion, that the grizzly bear in this country be listed under the Species at Risk Act? So far, the federal minister has refused to list the grizzly despite COSEWIC's recommendation. If the de-listing in the US goes through it will make it even more difficult to get the grizzly in Canada federally listed. There is no provincial species at risk legislation in BC.

This incident is yet another example of why there is a need to clean houseat the provincial Ministry of Environment. We have our work cut out for us.

Chris Genovali
From the trenches in Victoria, BC
August 2005

A verison of this article appeared in the August 12 edition of the e-zine CounterPunch
Jo Canadian
It's funny how things are handled in the states.

Space for instance, the funding sucks and technology and risk is too expensive. Yet Bush wants to push a manned mission to mars

Nature is exploited and is degrading. So what will they do??? How about something as unrealistic as a manned mission to mars!

Big game 'could roam US plains'

The animals would fill a void in the ecosystem
If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports.

The plan, which is called Pleistocene re-wilding, is intended to be a proactive approach to conservation. More... (external - login to view)
Jo Canadian
GL Schmitt
Quote: Originally Posted by Jo Canadian

. . . Space for instance, the funding sucks and technology and risk is too expensive. Yet Bush wants to push a manned mission to mars . . .

You know, I have a suspicion that if someone tells Incurious George that there are great energy resources there, he will propose sending a manned mission to the SUN.
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