Giving Credit Where It's Due (And Pointing Out When It's Not)

osprey (photo by Patrick Archibald, creative commons license)

As I’ve noted, the last couple of weeks have been good ones for the polar bear, with the Obama Administration proposing both the designation of over 200,000 square miles of critical habitat the bear and increased international restrictions on polar bear trophy hunting and commercial trade.  The Administration—and, especially Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s team—deserve a lot of credit for these moves.  Well, NRDC believes in giving credit where it’s due.  So today we are running this print ad in Washington, D.C.:

At the same time, all has not been rosy at the Department of the Interior.  While the Secretary has been taking some good steps on polar bears, the Minerals Management Service continues to approve offshore oil and gas exploration in their Alaska habitat. 

The Department of the Interior has also pressed forward with stripping Endangered Species Act protections from the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf.  That decision allowed Montana and Idaho to open hunting seasons on these still-imperiled animals.  The result has been devastating, particularly to some wolf packs who live the border of Yellowstone National Park.  NRDC is challenging these actions in court.  That means the Obama Administration still has the power to reverse course, agree to relist the wolf, and call off the wolf hunt.

So far, neither Secretary Salazar nor President Obama have evinced much interest revisiting their misguided gray wolf policy.  So now we’re raising money to run another ad:

white-tailed sea eagle by Hilary Chambers (via Flickr)

If you want to contribute to help run this ad, you can go here.

Overall, the Obama Administration has been a huge step forward for the environment.  From global warming policy, to public health, the Administration has already done a lot of commendable work.  But they don’t always make the correct call.  When they do the right thing, we’re going to let them know, and say “thanks.”  When do do the wrong thing?  We’ll be there as well.