Off to a bumbling start at Interior

If this is the kind of housecleaning and swamp draining we’re going to get, we’re in real trouble

Guest opinion by Paul Driessen

Was it because there were too few senior Trump Administration officials in place to catch and stop it? Or because Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was new on the job, and had so much on his plate, that this decision just slipped right past him?

Maybe it was because the new Administration faces so many battles with environmental activists already that it didn’t want another one?  Or perhaps Interior was intimidated by environmentalist lawsuits challenging President Trump’s 60-day delay of newly-issued Obama Administration regulations?

Whatever the reason, Trump’s Interior Department opened a real can of worms when it let the Obama Administration’s last-minute endangered species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee (RPB) take effect March 21 – exactly 60 days after President Trump issued his regulatory Executive Order.

The designation has serious adverse implications for Mr. Trump’s ambitious plans for infrastructure improvements, economic growth, job creation, and reining in regulatory abuse and overreach.

Already, officials in the Minneapolis area have delayed a road construction project – purportedly near a patch of potential RPB habitat – while they look for signs that the bees are actually nesting there. Another Minnesota group is trying to use hypothetical threats to RPBs to delay construction of a wastewater treatment plant that would prevent pollution from reaching sensitive state waterways!

And this is just the beginning. It will happen again and again as anti-development agitators use this designation to theorize that construction projects and even farming operations could risk harming an “endangered” bee species or its possible habitats.

In issuing the “endangered” designation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) advised that “The rusty patched bumblebee is likely to be present in scattered locations that cover only 0.1% of the species’ historical range.” Thus, government agencies need only be consulted or issue a permit for developers to “take” (disturb, harm or kill) the bees in these limited areas.

However, 0.1% of the RPB’s historic range is still an area of roughly 6,000 square miles: 3.8 million acres – equivalent to all of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. And that’s just the beginning.

The real kicker is that no one knows where that 0.1% area might be, scattered in tiny bits and pieces all across the 13 Northeast and Midwest states where the rusty patched bumblebee has supposedly been observed (by amateur entomologists) since 2000. That’s 378 million acres: equal to the combined land area of Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana!

That’s partly because the Obama FWS issued the endangered species designation without developing any protocols for actually identifying the ground-dwelling bee’s nesting sites. They could be anywhere in that 13-state area – which means environmentalists could delay, block or bankrupt every new power line, bridge, highway, pipeline, housing development, plowing operation or other project in the affected states.

The decision gives eco-obstructionists another powerful weapon against projects they oppose. They’ve already proven they are smart, determined, coordinated, well-funded opponents of President Trump’s infrastructure, energy, job and economic improvement agendas. Why give them more power?

Even worse, this insect designation opens the floodgates. Whether Secretary Zinke realizes it or not, waiting in the obstructionist wings, right behind the rusty patched bumblebee, are two more bumblebee species whose potential habitats spread across 40 states. The yellow-banded bumblebee has been found all the way from Montana east to New England, and down the Atlantic coast to Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. The western bumblebee’s range includes the entire block of eleven western states plus parts of Alaska: nearly a billion acres.

Put together, we’re talking about nearly half of the United States!

That’s a monstrous new complication for property owners, states and communities – and for the Trump Administration’s economic plans – at the end of a long, painful decade of economic doldrums that require concerted efforts to get job and economic growth back on track. And there’s even more to come.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says over one-fourth of 47 native North American bumblebee species face possible extinction. Other radical greens now claim hundreds of wild bee species are “threatened with” or “headed for” extinction. The Center for Biological Diversity asserts that 749 wild bee species are in decline, and half of them face serious risk of extinction.

Real entomologists dispute this. A recent article notes that the CBD report was not peer-reviewed and presented no methodologies or data sources. It quotes Sam Droege, one of North America’s top wild bee experts, who calls the report “extremely misleading” and full of “statistical, taxonomic and natural history problems.” Assertions that some species are in decline are simply false and not based on any evidence, Droege explained. For other species, there simply is not enough data to make any accurate assessment.

This is the Pandora’s box that Secretary Zinke’s Department of the Interior has unleashed, by failing to keep a lid on the FWS actions or review the Obama Administration’s politically motivated, hurry-up designation. In fact, Zinke’s department had ample reason to revise the rusty patched bumblebee designation on January 9, when Team Obama announced its plans. The DOI just bumbled it.

When the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation originally petitioned the FWS for an RPB endangered species designation, it said the species’ decline was due to habitat loss and disease – specifically an intestinal parasite that was accidentally imported to the USA from Europe in the 1990s, during experiments on managed bumblebee hives. But Obama’s FWS arbitrarily contorted its justifications to blame pesticides (specifically advanced-technology neonicotinoid pesticides, a key target du jour of the Environmental Left) for the bee’s decline. There is virtually no evidence to support that.

“The exact cause for the loss of the rusty patched is unclear,” says University of Virginia biology professor T’ai Roulston, “but it’s almost certainly related to disease: the Nosema bombi fungal gut parasite, which can shorten the lives of worker bees and disrupt mating success and survival of queens and males.”

Even more absurd and outrageous, the same Obama USFWS has given wind turbine companies permits to kill hundreds of bald and golden eagles – and thousands of raptors, other birds and bats, many of them threatened or endangered – every year for the next 30 years. So now the mere possibility that insect species could inhabit tiny areas across hundreds of millions of acres can be used to shut down projects, but the FWS will ignore wind turbines that are “incidentally” or “accidentally” killing eagles.

Now that Secretary Zinke has let the rusty patched bumblebee endangered species designation take effect, what should he do? To paraphrase the physician’s oath, “First, do no more harm.”

The new Interior team needs to make doubly sure that no more of these dubious “endangered species” designations slip past them, especially when the less onerous and disruptive, but still protective, status of “threatened species” is available. Secretary Zinke should also take a long, hard look at the supposed justifications for the RPB’s endangered designation, and modify or reverse it as warranted. Terminating or “clean-desking” a few Fish & Wildlife ideologues and IED makers would also be in order.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate should evaluate this designation and its employment, economic and land use implications, pass a “joint resolution of disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act, and send it to the White House. President Trump should sign it forthwith, and support one more vital action.

In the hands of agitators, ideological bureaucrats and friendly judges, the Endangered Species Act has become a powerful weapon for controlling land use and obstructing projects. Reforming the act, to curb this kind of nonsense and abuse, would be a good next step once these immediate problems are fixed.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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109 thoughts on “Off to a bumbling start at Interior

    • Trump needs to get on with keeping on top of his campaign pledges instead of breaking them by screwing around in Syria.

      • It’s precisely because Obama did not “screw around in Syria” that we are in the position we are in now. At some point, the civilized world is going to have to put a stop to madmen using weapons of mass destruction. What’s the alternative? As long as the sarin gas isn’t landing close to you, that makes it ok? One day, it may be landing square on your head.

        You see, if you don’t stop bullies from causing mayhem, they won’t stop themselves. They think if you don’t stop them, that means they have permission to continue, and they will continue as long as there is no pushback. Force will stop sane bullies in their tracks, because they don’t want to die. Nothing will stop insane bullies but removing them from the scene.

        We have allowed the bullies of the world to expand and grow more powerful during the Obama administration, and Obama finances many of them with a $150 billion cash payment.

        At some point, all this is going to have to change, unless we want to concede the world to the totalitarians, and I think we are getting close to that point. Trump is going to have to show the bullies of the world that Obama’s policy of retreat was an aberrration of U.S. foreign policy and now we are back on track putting our thumbs on the madmen of the world.

        For those who point at the Iraq war as an example of why we should not depose insane dictators:

        George W. Bush administration 2008: Iraq in GOOD shape. No terrorists in country. Free elections. Lots of smiling Iraqis looking forward to the future.

        Obama takes over in 2009: Iraq still in good shape, even according to Obama and Biden, who in 2011 were praising the progress made in Iraq. Then Obama pulls all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq in 2012, and within two weeks of that move, the first terrorist carbomb since 2008 goes off in Baghdad.

        Deposing insane dictators is not the cause of the problems we have today. The problems we have today are because Obama failed to stabilize Iraq long enough for them to get on their feet, and signaled to the terrorists that he was not going to do anything to stop them.

        The lesson to learn is it is ok to despose insane dictators, but you must provide authority and leadership in the nation whose leader is deposed, otherwise you get chaos. Is that so hard to understand?

        When we provide a stable authority for a defeated nation, they end up thriving like Germany, and the whole of western Europe, and Japan and South Korea. That’s the way to do it. Not the way Obama did it in Iraq and Libya. That’s the mistake. Deposing insane, murderous dictators is the right thing to do. We can do it, and we can do it right, if we pay attention. It doesn’t have to end up in an Obama fiasco.

      • TA……. A plane that takes off from a specific airfield and bombs a city which causes toxic gas deaths is not proof that any bomb from that plane actually contained a deadly gas.

        “Obama did not screw around in Syria” – you pose this as though Obama had one brilliant moment in his life to do the right thing; how stupid can you be.
        Truth: Obama tried to get Congress to approve US military action against the Syrian Government. Congress would not pass the legislation because millions of concerned citizens, like me, called our respective members of Congress to say Hell No to action against Syria.

      • Sorry to sound so cold, but Syria “owns” it’s citizens (or should). Does anyone think that Russia is going to be attacked for killing journalists; consider Mexico is even worse with it’s cartels and no outsiders do anything. This is what sovereignty is all about. As far as Sarin being a “weapon of mass destruction” that is just justification for political interference. A 500 lb bomb can actually do much more damage. The only “mass destructive” I know of is a nuke. Besides, ironically, we allowed our one time friend Sadam to use similar gases freely on his own people. Trying to be the world’s policeman just because we happen to be one of the top dogs (or for the past reason of assisting corporate donors in controlling a country) not only gets expensive but is very very destabilizing. In addition, historically, Islamics need a nasty dictator to keep them in line and attempting to impose our standards just results in an endless civil war (perhaps as Europe is about to soon find out).
        As far as Trump’s strike is concerned, it appears that damage was minimal and was primarily a chess play, not only stateside but internationally.

      • [snip – multiple policy violations for language, not just on this comment, but today on several others. Tone it down or find yourself banned – Anthony]

      • From the Left: Trump’s actions in Syria are ILLEGAL and UNCONSCIONABLE – because TRUMP’S BOMBS DESTROYED A RUSTY PATCHED BUMBLEBEE HIVE!!!

      • Why would Assad want to use chemical weapons when it achieves nothing militarily? Assad was clearly winning the war, but instead we are supposed to buy that Assad deliberately wanted to do something to cause his “suicide by Trump” (USA). It doesn’t make any sense. It was a set up. Assad was framed. Probably by the radical muslims that stand to take over the whole area with the secular Assad’s downfall.

        @wws … LOL!

      • ““Obama did not screw around in Syria” – you pose this as though Obama had one brilliant moment in his life to do the right thing; how stupid can you be.”

        Obama should have acted when he told the Syrians not to cross the red line of using chemical weapons. The Syrians used chemical weapons, and Obama did nothing. So Trump had to do it for him.

        And it’s not illegal for Trump to act. The U.S. Constitution gives him the authority to act. The Congress, in 1973, sought to limit the president’s ability to protect the nation by passing the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act has never been tested at the U.S. Supreme Court. But even the War Powers Act allows the president to act on his own violition for up to 60 days before Congress has to approve or not approve, and the president is supposed to notify Congress within 48 hours of any such military action, which Trump did. Obama could have done the same thing, but he didn’t want to get involved, so he went to Congress with the decision.

        Let’s see if Assad is bold enough to drop more chemical weapons. If he does, that will be the end of him. I think this last chemical weapons drop is probably going to be the last of him. He’s got Trump’s attention now. Trump doesn’t like seeing helpless babies struggling for their lives.

      • “As far as Sarin being a “weapon of mass destruction” that is just justification for political interference. A 500 lb bomb can actually do much more damage.”

        Claiming sarin gas is not dangerous is just an excuse not to do anything. Saddam broke the back of the Iranian’s attacks in the 1970’s with his use of poison gas. Ask the Iranians which they would rather face, a 500lb bomb going off or the air for as far as you can see being contaminated with poison gas, with no escape.

      • “Trying to be the world’s policeman just because we happen to be one of the top dogs (or for the past reason of assisting corporate donors in controlling a country) not only gets expensive but is very very destabilizing. ”

        Not being the world’s policeman is what has destabilized the world. Obama has been retreating for eight years, and the bad guys have been taking advantage of the leeway Obama has given them to wage even more war on innocent people.

        After eight years of neglect and retreat, President Trump has a huge mess on his hands. Obama enables the Mad Mullahs of Iran, giving them $150 billion in cash, and three separate administrations, Clinton, Bush and Obama, have allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

        Well, Trump is going to fix these situations, so you better hang on to your hat. You say you don’t want him to fix these situation because it might cause a military conflict? It doesn’t matter. There is going to be a military conflict when our enemies get powerful enough and bold enough anyway, and it’s up to the President of the United States to prevent them from gettig there, even if it means military action.

        Dont’ worry, there’s no draft anymore. Only those who see the necessity of defending the U.S. need go today, so you can sit comfortably in your home and criticize to your hearts content, and never be in any danger because the president and the U.S. military are taking care of your business for you.

        Too bad Obama and the Republican Congress have gutted U.S. national defense. We might need all our assets in the near future.

        We used to have a military policy of being able to fight two regional wars at the same time. The gutting of the military probably precludes being able to do that at this time. Do you see why that policy was put i place? We have two regional wars building, one with the Mad Mullahs of Iran and one with the mad dictator of North Korea. Two members of G.W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil”.

        Neither of these rogue nations can be allowed to accomplish their goals of acquiring nuclear weapons and missiles to launch them, no matter what it costs us. If we don’t stop them now, it will cost us dearly in the future.

        Pacifism doesn’t stop ruthless dictators. Only force, or the threat of force (if the bad guys are rational) will stop ruthless dictators.

      • “As far as Trump’s strike is concerned, it appears that damage was minimal and was primarily a chess play, not only stateside but internationally.”

        It was a brilliant move.

        Trump takes an event which horrifies every rational person, killing innocent kids with chemical weapons, and launches an attack on the airbase and aircraft that delivered those chemical weapons, nails the bombing mission with no collateral, civilian damage in Syria, and signals to the world that there is a new sheriff in town, and to every bad guy on the planet that this president is different, and it’s not going to be business as usual anymore.

        A little move with a huge effect.

        The Mad Mullahs of Iran have been very quiet in the last few days. Let’s see if the Mad Mullahs send their swift boats out after U.S. naval vessels in the future. Let’s see how brave they are. Sometimes tough talk is all it takes, but that won’t work with the Mad Mullahs I don’t expect since they are religious fanatics who think they are on a mission from their god.

        Even Kim Jung Un has been rather restrained in his rhetoric the last few days.

        Bullies are basically cowards who only mess with people when they think they can get away with it. If you credbly threaten their existence, most of them will back off.

        President Trump presented a credible threat to the bad guys by attacking Assad’s aircraft. Kim Jung Un doesn’t know whether the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson is headed his way just for show, or if they are going to be aiming at him. His daddy went into hiding for some months after the Iraq war was initiated in 2003.

      • This is in response to TA –

        First, there needs to be verified proof, not a few facebook pictures that says something happens. Garbage printed in MSM no longer carries any asset as proof. They’ve lied too much. Second, get your head out of MSM and notice that Assad was elected by the Syrians, not by the MSM, but in an election that was monitored by the UN. Recognize that there was “nothing to gain” by the Syrian government by using gas, but plenty by the “so called rebels” who are, in fact, paid mercenaries fighting for outside influences, not the Syrian people. Assad has not proven to be a “madman,” nor, for that matter, was Hussein.

        A lot of smiling Iraqis, no terrorists in Iraq after Bush destroyed the nation? Are you serious? What stuff do you smoke? Is it expensive? Can you give me the name of your supplier? Iraq was a safe haven for Muslims, Jews, and Christians when Hussein was in power as a duly elected president. Yes, Bush and brainless people like you can’t see past the brown stains on the inside of your rectums, fixed that country up just fine, just like Obama, Clinton, and your type did in Libya.

    • Around here any bees that come out of the ground are BIG TROUBLE. The way you find out if you have a really good horse is when they are swarming and he doesn’t cause a trainwreck. Just ride through the bushes or tall grasses to brush them off, but I got stung between the eyes and looked like a Klingon for a couple of days.

    • Well a class of fourth graders and a couple of gallons of ice cream, along with a couple of dozen fly swatters, and that will take care of this rust bug.

      g

    • If you check out what a “weed” or an “invasive species” is, it is whatever the state says it is. There is no definition of either term that does not vary from state to state. I suppose someone at General Mills should have checked that out, or maybe they did and the activists are just being a pain. Who knows?

      In Wyoming, when I moved here 35 years ago, the ag people were selling Russian Olive trees for windbreaks. Now, Russian Olive trees are designated an invasive species and are being cut down along river banks (supposedly for killing the cottonwoods—like the drought didn’t do that? Long story.).

      Nothing anyone does cannot be turned into an environmental “crisis” when needed. There is no sustainability because what we are to “sustain” changes randomly and frequently. It’s like playing darts in the dark with no idea where the board is.

      • Hmm, I’d rather have a windbreak of Russian Olive than one of brittle Willows, Poplars or pines. Where I live, Missouri Cedars are the cheapest (seedlings transplanted from timber). The biggest threat to my timberland acreage is Asian Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, L. tatarica, L. morrowii, L. X bella
        Amur, Tartarian, Morrow’s, Belle’s honeysuckle), which takes over and prevents trees of most kinds from reproducing. This plant is truly the “Giant Hogweed” and displays virulent colonization of the forest floor by seedlings and thickets of brittle but intricate branch structures by the mature plants. They grow vigorously from cut-off stumps and their seeds are viable for over 5 years,

  1. Eternal truth: Government is not the solution – government is the problem. Drain the swamp!

    • MIT Press Journals, August 2015

      ‘Global Environmental Politics’

      Select:

      ‘Comparative Politics of Sub-Federal Cap-and-trade: Implementing the Western Climate Initiative ‘

      “Since parliamentary institutions concentrate power, elite consensus is more important in Canada, while in the United States public opinion plays a more significant role.”

      More information at this website.

      http://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/glep/15/3

      Issues are developed to sway public opinion such as the bee issue and many other environmental issues.

      • It required gullible, uneducated people to sway public opinion. Goal one would then be to make schools turn out uneducated people who cannot think.

  2. Just because someone is skeptical about CAGW doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy about wanton destruction of species, habitats or environments.
    I think that the greatest crime perpetrated by the Warmists was that they discredited and split the real Environmental Movement.

      • The best way to ‘destroy’ environmentalists IS to educate them about actual nature.

        Start with an explanation of how evolution really works, and how many species went extinct because they didn’t keep up long before Man created the first tool.

        Follow it up with lessons in how Mother Nature isn’t the least bit motherly, and is instead a heartless uncaring B!+ch. Maybe add in how the only thing most animals care about other species is how they taste.

        Remember, the true enemy of the progressive Left isn’t the Right, it’s Reality itself.

      • “Nature does NOT care”.
        Sheri, that’s exactly correct, regardless of the implications humanity has imagined upon itself.
        A visit to Chernobyl will impress that fact into anyone’s psyche.

    • As an environmentalist all of my life I agree wholeheartedly. I remember when people were chaining themselves around trees in Southern Tasmania to protect Old Growth Forest. Some of it pristine, some logged in earlier times. The wood was woodchipped and sent to Japan to be turned into chipboard. That was made into furniture and homes. The carbon was locked away. It actually reduced CO2. But we protested at the cost to the environment in terms of animal habitat. We were environmentalists.

      Nowdays woodchips are good and Green, and the Greens approve of cutting down old growth forests to be turned into woodchips to be sent from the USA to the UK to be burned at Drax instead of coal. Paradoxically increasing the CO2 they worry about, and still losing the habit that is no longer important to a Green, but critical to environmentalists. And of course supported by massive taxpayer subsidies because it is lunacy beyond any hope of efficiency when Drax stands on deep coal seams.

      Native forests in Wales cut down to build wind farms. South Australia a State “Where Eagles Do Not Dare”. To Scotland where protected Golden Plovers are made extinct by wind farms, to Northern Tasmania whose entire Eagle population has been made extinct and the last chick being killed by a wind generator arm, was filmed by an environmentalist who thought he was Green.. Dead Birds Dead Bats by the millions. Stuff all importance to Greens with their communist agendas. Environmentalists wake up, you remain imprisoned by the Reds who changed their names to yours. They stole the name to sound caring, when the couldn’t care less.

      • Apparently these are the only threats to Tasmanian eagles:

        With only about 130 pairs successfully breeding each year in Tasmania, the wedge-tailed eagle is listed as endangered. The major threats to the species include habitat loss, nest disturbance, collisions and electrocutions with powerlines and persecution through shooting, trapping and poisoning by thoughtless persons. Please see our Living with Wildlife pages and threatened species pages for full details of this species’ plight.

        http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=5121

  3. If it is such an important and well known deal, why was it not called out before it was too late instead of after it was too late. Placing the blame on the Trump Administration and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, is a pretty thin complaint.
    In a larger view, it is a sure bet that the previous administration has planted hundreds of such policy mines all through the government landscape. Many will be deliberately concealed and protected by partisan agency workers until it is too late. It will be a tough job to ferret them all out.
    We can surmise that many such actions were created to be a ruinous as possible. Stopping all this stuff dead in it’s tracks is not possible, and not a reasonable expectation.

      • Tom, WAAyyy too true. But what can we do about this? I am not a bureaucrat, are there ways to roll this “decisions” back? To me they are “land” mines . Can they re-instate previous regulations and/or nix the new ones? Are they laws or just directions? It is all very confusing and complicated.

    • With all due respect, this cannot be the case. As I recall the Clinton woman was supposed to waltz into the Whitehouse. So not a trap set for our President.

      • there are many possibilities.
        1) Obama actually had no love for Hillary so the occasional trap could have been laid.
        2) Obama could have left a road map for Hillary advising her of all the speed bumps thus she would be able to delimit them.
        3) Hillary was supposed to continue Obama’s legacy so she may have been in agreement in any case, thus the duplicity of the two would be devastating to the Trump Presidency.

      • I seem to recall a big stink when one of the agencies refused to answer questions that the president elect’s team had sent to it.

    • Yes, it’s certainly unfortunate that this endangerment finding ‘accidentally’ made it through. After all, it’s such a perfect example of the dishonesty and sneakiness of the O’boy administration. What with how it covers huge areas of the country without documenting how to identify them, or how it’s reasons for endangerment or so shallow and meaningless. Why, almost anyone who hears about it will realize that it’s and empty bit of theater designed solely to to be used as a cudgel by the Left to block any development they choose. And it’s Sooo pathetic that those same Leftist will have a very hard time trying to defend it now that it’s hit the media like a 800 pound rotting tuna.

      Of course, those in the DOI who pushed this thing through while the transition team was busy cleaning out the REAL messes caused by the previous administration will have to be let go. Clearly they just don’t understand the new direction the boss it going in, or aren’t team players.

      <¿<

  4. In my area, we’ve got a tree that was listed as endangered which you can buy at your local nursery as tubestock, and is considered invasive in a neighbouring state. In the conservation advice, one of the reasons provided for listing it was “coal seam gas mining poisoning the land and soil”. Aside from the fact that methane extraction (to my knowledge) has never, ever poisoned any soil anywhere and trees and plants grow right beside natural methane seeps, there is no coal seam gas in the area. I kid you not.

    • Problem is the endangered listing. It has perverse outcomes. In the case of the tree I mentioned above, we were planting about 70000 trees of various species, and initially, the endangered one was one of about 10 the list. When we realised it was classed as endangered, it was removed from the list. Why would a landowner want to permanently sterilise land by having an endangered species there?

      • You’re right. Good point. Looks like the surest way to switch endangered species back to common is to discover them in certain large, secure, well-established properties. Naturally, I’m in favour of increasing the number of both.

      • Why would a landowner want to permanently sterilise land by having an endangered species there?

        So you can stop pipelines, railroads and stuff by planting a careful collection of endangered species at the purported route?

        Can’t be that simple.

      • I remember reading how ranchers would carry a rifle and a shovel when out inspecting their land.
        The rifle to shoot any varmits they come across.
        The shovel to bury the varmit if it happened to be from an endangered species.

    • theyre ground dwelling i gather, makes it hard to find them and even harder to relocate.
      if theyre like aussie native ground dwelling bees, and i suspect they are, they also live in solitary cells inground. not colonies.
      i have some bluebanded native bees around my home
      i see them in the lavender bushes but where they are nesting? impossible to track em as they zip by so fast;-/

    • I live right smack dab in the middle of this area, and I can assure you we have all the bumblebees we will ever need. They might not all be rusty blot or whatever, but they are doing just fine.

      I assume this is another ‘spotted owl’ thing, where it isn’t man that’s killing them off, it’s the rest of nature.

      • I think spotted owls are “recovering”. Most “recoveries” seem to be that humans find out where the animal has moved to and declare victory. Most people outgrow the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” behavior when young, but when it comes to animals, if people can’t see them, they don’t exist.

      • The spotted owl is recovering because it was never endangered in the first place.
        The endangerment ruling was 100% political.

  5. Another option is perhaps to focus the attention to far rarer, more specialised bees usually present in geographically isolated areas. Solitary Andrena limnanthis Hesperandrena in California and Hylaeus longiceps limited to six populations in Hawaii seem to qualify.

  6. We have the problem of defining what, precisely, constitutes a species.

    Everyone is familiar with all the different breeds of dog. Nobody would mistake a Teacup Pommermaniac for a Great Dane. Nobody would claim that the extinction of Pommermaniacs is the same as the extinction of dogs even though Poms have different DNA than Great Danes.

    So, how about jumping mice? link

    Defining every tiny DNA difference as a different species is bogus and can easily be abused by activists. Carrying the logic to its absurd conclusion we have to think that every individual critter (or potential critter) is a special snowflake that needs to be protected.

    • A species was supposed to be defined on interbreedability. Horses and donkeys may breed, but the offspring are sterile.

      Ergo they are different species?

      • Fertile mules are possible, but very rare. If a rancher wants mules, it’s much easier to produce them through crossbreeding than trying to locate a breeding pair.

    • Good point, commie Bob, but in addition to that there is the whole issue of the prevalence of a species over time. Doesn’t evolution require that, over time, that there will be “more successful” occupants of a given ecological niche that will crowd out the less successful thereby limiting “diversity”? In addition will not that “more successful” critter fundamentally transform the raw resources it requires to succeed so that by way of having, not a rare, but a widely distributed gene pool it will stand an opportunity to alter its requirements to continue succeeding?

      • As far as I can tell, environmentalists do not believe in evolution or what Darwin taught. There must be NO more extinctions or it’s human’s fault. Extinctions are now wrong and should not happen. Yet no where does evolution say extinctions are “wrong”, it just says they “are”. Humans are so weird when these things come up.

      • My point exactly. By the “scientific” criteria of environmentalists there is only a perfect steady state perpetual motion machine that should be the goal by which humans judge their policies and activity by.

      • Yup, it all comes down that urge we all share to control things which we have decided should be under our human jurisdiction. If we all want something bad enough it will become within our capabilities. It’s a fantasy that Hollywood plays on and depicts repeatedly.

    • There is no team skeptic. There is no competent army of folks who dispute the science. And now all we have to do is wait ..In 2020 skeptics will have held the reigns of power for 4 years.. I’m wagering nothing they can do will change actual science.

      There are no skeptical theories to test. No skeptical scientists to investigate the non existant alternative theories of climate change. When you’re out of power the plan is easy. Attack.
      Now skeptics are in power and they have no clue how to work as a team no clue how to build a team and not enough bodies to field a team. Now you do have lots of water boys ..
      commenter on blogs, but no actual players. .

      • They’ve been in charge for 60+ days and you’re already making 4 year predictions? Wow, you really ARE an AGW fan, aren’t you?

      • [snip – multiple policy violations for language, not just on this comment, but today on several others. Tone it down or find yourself banned – Anthony]

      • There is no competent army of folks who dispute the science.

        Let me correct that: … dispute the hypothesis/theory.

        I’m wagering nothing they can do will change actual science.

        Let me correct that: … change the hypothesis/theory.

        There are no skeptical theories to test.

        Science does not require a skeptic to have an alternative theory or hypothesis. The burden of proof is upon those who support a given hypothesis or theory. An attempt to shift the burden of proof upon skeptics is unscientific. Furthermore, science does not require alternative hypotheses or theories for a hypothesis or theory that is shown not to be valid in whole or in part. This is especially true when part of what is being disputed is the belief that “something is happening.” Oversimplifying perhaps, there are three basic tenets to the climate change belief: global warming, ocean acidification and sea level rise.

        There is no objective evidence of ocean acidification – there is only speculation. Requiring skeptics to disprove something for which there is no reasonable measurable evidence is nonsensical. Global warming or, perhaps more properly, temperature change suffers from large uncertainties in the measurements. One could say that there is a noise to signal ratio, rather than a signal to noise ratio. Sea level rise suffers from similar issues.

        Before Major Walter Reed and Dr. Carlos Finlay were able to show that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes, there were many theories and many governmental policies that imposed great costs but were ineffective. “Mal Aria” is Italian for “bad air.” For centuries, there was a vague belief that there was “something in the air.” Furthermore, there were many cemeteries with clear victims of yellow fever, malaria and similar diseases. By contrast, victims of “climate change” are claimed by attribution. Skepticism of theories and models that agree poorly with measurements and skepticism of policies that are admittedly largely ineffective, even by ardent supporters of the theories and models, is not unscientific.

        There may well be “something in the air,” but reason and prudence demand much more from both the practicioners in the field and the policy makers that are burdening people around the globe with expensive and, admittedly, ineffective “remedies.” Carbon dioxide has been wrongly classified as a pollutant, when it is a necessary nutrient to support life on earth.

        No skeptical scientists to investigate the non existant alternative theories of climate change.

        The term “Climate change” is unscientific, primarily because it is not falsifiable. Global warming at least was a consistent hypothesis. Changing the term is a rhetorical argument – not a scientific one. Once again, skeptics are not required to have “alternative theories” of something that is not falsifiable. Only hypotheses or theories that are falsifiable are scientific.

        When you’re out of power the plan is easy. Attack. Now skeptics are in power and they have no clue how to work as a team no clue how to build a team and not enough bodies to field a team. Now you do have lots of water boys .. commenter on blogs, but no actual players.

        Your comment betrays the fact that climate change is about power and not science. Imposing policies that are not scientific is not science. Using the word science as a substitute for hypothesis or theory is political rhetoric, but does not constitute science. In the end, you cannot fool mother nature. However, the damage that is being done and that will be done to many around the world due to extremely costly and questionably effective policies may, unfortunately, continue to fool many.

      • This from a very well compensated water boy,….”

        My consulting business allows me to give a few hours away every month. Full time work in crypto. ..Also helps

        Working as a water boy for Nobel prize winners? They did not have to pay. I volunteered for years.

      • Steve,

        I guess that depends on what is meant by “dispute the science.” Pegging the transient climate response to less than 1.5 C and the equilibrium climate sensitivity to less than 2.5 C would kind of dispute the science in my opinion.

        Since Mann seems to think that Curry, Christy and Spencer are “climate science deniers,” there’s at least a competent cadre “of folks who dispute the science.”

      • Steve, as you well know, skeptics don’t need theories. All they need to do is show the holes in yours.

  7. This could backfire. If they keep looking for the rusty patched bumblebee and finding it, then they might have to realise that it isn’t quite as endangered as they thought it was. If they don’t find it, then the planning objection doesn’t work.

    • The issue there is that once on an endangered specie list, it is almost impossible to have it removed, regardless of subsequent findings of fact.

  8. In the UK it is the great crested newt that has stopped all economic activity except for the erection of wind farms, the felling of trees for biomass boilers and the growing of crops to feed anaerobic digesters. There are stories of newts being planted in areas where development is planned. so I wonder what would happen if some newts appeared on a proposed wind farm site.

  9. FWS arbitrarily contorted its justifications to blame pesticides (specifically advanced-technology neonicotinoid pesticides, a key target du jour of the Environmental Left) for the bee’s decline. There is virtually no evidence to support that.

    I STRONGLY DISAGREE!!!
    Bayers own data ADMITS that neonics DO kill bees night pollinating moths and small mammals.
    its why they swapped to pelletised forms to be placed IN ground at planting to try n minimise drift of sprays. dust frompellets still causes issues
    and
    every cell IN the dosed plant is toxic as its systemic that means pollen n nectar too.
    and its also soil/water long lived and found to travel large distances around treated paddocks
    the poison was found in trees large distances on edges of fields.
    this data is online and search should bring it up
    old pc had the link saved , sorry this one i dont;-/
    quick look got this
    http://permaculturenews.org/2014/07/17/scientific-research-condemns-neonicotinoid-pesticides-will-take/
    now Bayers bee pages state that in damp cold soils 1000day plus soil neonic residue persists and that follow on crops can and do uptake it.they say thats only applicable in usa soils?
    as europe doesnt get that cold or wet- is implied?
    wtf?
    they also state that as the plant uptakes it the concentrations lower
    thats amusing really, if that WAS the reality then its use for pest control would be only in first part of growing season
    (they do NOT provide what levels are expressed at that time oddly?)
    and the risk is supposedly right up to near harvest depending on the bug variety or series of such.
    quoted 5ug as safe to bees..ok if its not killing bees at that dose its not killing bugs either..
    and then theres the soil/water carryover mentioned prior
    if? the uptake was so low then the soil etc shouldnt have enough/any left hanging round to BE found in following seasons crops
    but..it is obviously.
    this to me smack of the monmongrels ridiculous
    “substantial equivalence” line
    stating GMO modded crops are substantially the same as non
    but?
    they only got their patents due it being NEW AND NOVEL and unlike “normal” crops
    cant have it both ways!!!

    some of you own recent reports from EPA doing the job they should have been doing , not chasing co2 n particulates in the air..showed neonics in general water supplies
    hmm? seems it sure does travel doesnt it?

    • Don’t know about this area specifically, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the toxicity of the first pesticides was quite unspecific killers. Neonicotinoids are more hazardous to insects than to mammals and birds. As such, they are presumably quite expensive, unlikely to be wasted or used during flowering season.

    • There is pretty strong evidence that Neonicotinoids weaken bee’s immune systems making them more susceptible to disease and parasites.

      GMO’s exist to sell carcinogenic chemicals and monopolize the food supply through patented seeds. Biological farming methods produce far higher yields and a much higher quality of nutritious food.

      Banning the chemicals would do more for the bees than stopping development for imagined habitats.

      Anti-human zealots have taken over the environmental movement. They believe that anything humans do is contrary to nature and needs to be stopped. It is Zen perfection that we can best be responsible in our interactions with nature by seeing ourselves as part of nature! I don’t think the zealots have a clue as to how nature works.

  10. those that expect trump to succeed merely by being elected underestimate the breadth and depth of the opposition, expecting more than small victories is a bridge too far at this juncture

  11. The Trump administration can’t arbitrarily reverse endangered species designations. His executive order just delayed the implementation of the designation.

    NFWS has to be able to clearly demonstrate in a legally defensible manner, how the designation was wrong. That takes time and it probably isn’t near the top of the priorities list.

  12. From the article: “Or perhaps Interior was intimidated by environmentalist lawsuits challenging President Trump’s 60-day delay of newly-issued Obama Administration regulations?”

    I have a hard time believing anyone at an Executive Branch agency is intimidated by a lawsuit. If they lose, so what? What’s the downside for the bureaucracy, other than they don’t get to apply the rules the way they initially decided to do it? No personal liablity. No intimidation.

    As for not getting the job done: Why don’t some of you guys give the Trump administration a little time leeway. He doesn’t even have his people in place in the government, the Obama holdovers are still running things for the most part.

    My God, Kostinen, the Obama IRS Commissioner, who the Republican Congress wants impeached, is still in his job! Is this because Trump likes this IRS commissioner? I don’t think so. It takes time to weed out all the bad influences put in place by the Obama administration. Some people need to chill.

    • Former presidents have used public appeal to the nation when congress foot drags. Not everyone gives a darn about twitter blasts. That appears all he wants to do. There is nothing of value that comes out of tweets, in my book, because they have no backing information in them. He had his chance to start off in the right direction, he chose to go against his own promises. That beautiful inaugural speech, talking about sovereign nations, was totally wasted by his inane act of savagery in Syria. Not only that, but since the Syrians do have “nuclear friends,” for enforcing NO red line HE ever established, he has endangered millions of American lives. I think I have given him too much time if that is the best thinking that comes out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

      • The advantage of tweets, is they are straight from the horse’s mouth.

        NEWS has to wait until the MSM ” interprets ” it, and then spoon feeds it to the gullible.

        For example, President Trump never tweeted anything about any ” mostly moslem ” countries.

        They were invented by the MSM, who repeated that fake news over and over.

        Trump named the seven countries he wanted to hold up till better vetting was available. and he only wanted a shorter delay than President Obama set for people from Iraq.

        So get used to the tweets, until the MSM decide to print the news instead of writing their own fake news.

        G

  13. Well, that can’t be good news for all the ‘wind turbine projects and associated high power transmission lines in those areas.

    • Exactly. For some reason it’s never a problem to bulldoze thousands of acres for a wind or solar power plant.

    • They got exempted for slice and dicing eagles. How hard can this be? The only thing that slowed turbines down was sage grouse. States are enforcing this and they do not want the birds listed. So areas with sage grouse “crucial habitat” are off limits. Money can, of course, change how crucial habitat is. Also, wind turbines PROVED that it’s acceptable to pretend you can move eagles etc to another area so they won’t get slice and diced. Note: That does not work for anyone the government does not like. You provide a new happy place for them to live and the eagles magically move. It’s been used at least twice in Wyoming (though neither wind plant was ever built—still trying on the 1000 turbine eco-disaster, however.)

  14. FYI:
    Last summer we had great fun around my house because a queen bee (honey bees) decided to lead her swarm into my brick chimney. Damn things are protected. Regular exterminators won’t touch them and bee guys are very expensive.

  15. Wiki in the uk
    Newt collection and trapping[edit]

    Trapping is undertaken through the use of buried buckets (pitfall traps) placed alongside the fence material. The idea being that the newts follow the fence along until they fall into the open bucket. Carpet tiles (terrestrial refuges) may be used in conjunction with or instead of pitfall traps. Again these are placed alongside the fence and provide ideal shelter for newts whilst they are resting (daytime and during dry or cold periods).

    Once an ecologist is satisfied that all of the newts have been trapped from the site and that the terms of the licence have been met, construction work can begin.
    —————————–
    Surely we should be protecting species that our activities have brought to near extinction. Bees/Newts/tigers
    Once you have exterminated a species and you find it was essential it is difficult to bring it back from the dead.

    • There are no essential species. Nothing in biology or evolution says that. “Essential species” is a political term, not a scientific one. (Yes, scientists probably use it now to get funding. It’s still not scientific.)

      You could ship me the newts. I’d give them a happy home!

  16. The supreme irony of the matter is that being designated endangered can worsen the survivability of the animal in question. If a couple of endangered birds are discovered nesting on property planned for development, they stand a good chance of being quietly killed and disposed of. The risk of violating the protection law can be worth avoiding the bureaucratic slog to get a permit to develop on the birds’ “habitat” or to get them relocated. And avoiding the envirocrat busybodies who will most assuredly obstruct the process as much as possible. As the Godfather might say, “It’s nothing personal, boids. It’s business.”

  17. This is what happens when you leave these leftist scumbags from the Obama Admin in place. Jan 23 should have seen the largest removal of Federal employees in America’s history.

    • Had a friend who was a civil service protected federal employee. He got into a fist fight with his boss. Both drunk at the office during a party which was of course also against the rules. He told me it would take an act of congress to fire him. He was right. They both were relocated to different offices. Hard to drain the swamp when the alligators are in charge.

      • Had a friend who was a civil service protected federal employee.

        Don’t you mean “union protected federal employee”?

      • Don’t know that there were any public employee unions in the mid 70s. Civil servants in some federal positions had protections against ” political reprisals ” , for instance in the treasury agents positions, but not in the justice department such as the FBI. This made it very difficult to fire those so protected. Don’t know what it’s like today but suspect the protections are much more widespread and stronger. I knew some of these guys quite well. Some real wild and crazy guys.

      • This is BS. However, in your friend’s case, since his boss was part of the issue, it is difficult for his boss to do the paperwork that would lead to his dismissal. Violence in the workplace is a fast trip out the door when the boss isn’t involved. As for the boss, I can only assume HIS boss was a friend that chose to overlook the rules in his favor. Normal process for getting dismissed is a verbal with letter in your file that stays there for 3 months. Repeat infraction during that time gets you time off without pay and a letter in your file for 6 months, third infraction while that letter is in your file is the dismissal. don’t believe it when someone says you can’t get rid of a federal employee, but it does take management with the intent to follow through.

  18. UN/WHO calibrated their expertise in carcinogenic substances by IARC listing hairdressers & carpenters professions, sunlight, ethanol but in beverages only and red meat. Perhaps endangered species list should similarly include also malaria mosquito and, indeed commieBob, the jumping mouse.

    After cAGW experience my personal favourites remain elusive, however. Like the flying spaghetti monster (FSM) below. It could be in Moonbeam’s well as we speak

    FSM enthusiasts have a competing consensus on global warming

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/PiratesVsTemp%28en%29.svg

  19. “Even more absurd and outrageous, the same Obama USFWS has given wind turbine companies permits to kill hundreds of bald and golden eagles ”

    and yet detailed population surveys show that the Golden Eagle population is stable and the Bald Eagle population still increasing.

    If the numbers alleged to be killed by wind turbines were accurate, how could that be the case?

    The greater threat to the Bald Eagle is the opposition to restrictions on use of lead shot…

  20. Just move onto to the States convening a Constitutional Convention. Otherwise, it’s chaos forever since, as climate change has shown, they never, ever, concede or give up but just keep propagandizing along.

    • The scariest thought in the world to me is “A Constitutional Convention” to rewrite the Constitution. If it takes 2400 pages to write the Affordable Care Act or 3000+ pages to write the Patriot Act, can you imagine the volumes of paper that would be used to replace the what, 20 pages of the Constitution and its amendments? Anyone that wants to can read and understand the Constitution. A “lawyer speak” replacement of it would probably rival the old Encyclopedia Britannica in size, and would not have a single statement in it that couldn’t be interpreted in a half dozen different ways.

  21. Priorities.
    Stop the CAGW induced policy madness first, them deal with the “Ma’ Gaia” induced madness.
    He has lots of bureaucratic regulatory crap to undo. Some of the “crap” has some merit.
    It will take some time for actual and honest science to sort it all out.
    One thing is clear, policy to combat CAGW is not based on real science. Even the “97% consensus” is not based on anything that reflects reality.
    Those who gained from the CAGW meme have lost their bully pulpit.
    Reagan was able to communicate to the people despite the MSM being against him and rarely having a majority in either House of Congress.
    (After he died, many confessed that what they said to belittle him was wrong.)
    Trump was not my first choice. I’m beginning to think he should have been.

    • PS Maybe we should direct some of the subsidies to combat CAGW to those companies that could develop a pesticide to wipe their competitors?
      That might make the Enviros happy.
      Red haired bees take priority over red haired people.

  22. Ah the old lesser spotted newt strategy!
    The best one was a minute underground land prawn (I kid you not) which stopped a mine going ahead in Western Australia last year.

    Oddly the carnage to wildlife caused by wind turbines never seems to impede their construction.

    • The carnage caused by going “green” doesn’t count.

      (A side note, I saw a story today that pulled out “the green card” in objection to building Trumps wall.
      It seems they say it might interfere with wildlife crossing the border.)

  23. Maybe some people can make some bucks “buzzing ” for bees. I know a guy here in the Northwest that made some nice coin “hooting ” for spotted owls in his spare time. And lefty thinks the government needs to be bigger. Unbelievable.

  24. What is “virtually no evidence” supposed to mean? Is it the opposite of “literally no evidence”? And if so, does it mean more or less than “little” evidence?

  25. What does any of this have to do with climate science? Or has Wattsupwiththat.com degenerated into all things anti-environmentalist?

    The ESA does not belong here.

    As for the designation, either DOI followed the ESA in making the determination, in which case the agency is just doing its job as required by the law … or it didn’t, in which case their determination can be challenged in court.

    In any event, the ESA is in need of reform, everybody on all sides agree to that, they just don’t agree what the reforms should be. Congress and the President should come up with a set of agreed reforms, which the environmentalists may not like but if there is give and take, both sides can come away with positives from a reform bill. Sounds like a worthy project for Congress to tackle.

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