Feds to review endangered-species decisions made by departed official
Remember Julie MacDonald? The Bush appointee’s oversight of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended with her abrupt resignation in May, after she was accused of overriding scientists’ recommendations in order to make decisions beneficial to industry and detrimental to endangered species. Now the Department of the Interior plans to review and likely overturn several wildlife and land-use decisions “inappropriately influenced” by MacDonald during her five years at the agency. Of MacDonald’s more than 200 species and habitat decisions, Interior is focusing on the eight it deems most likely to have been politicized, three of which have already inspired lawsuits. Greens, while supportive of the agency’s step toward righting its wrongs, were quick to point out that MacDonald almost certainly meddled in more cases than are actually being reconsidered. Species currently doing a little dance in anticipation of possible added protection include the white-tailed prairie dog, Arroyo toad, and Canada lynx.