Well, here we go again. It was just last week that a judge handed US Fish and Wildlife Service's failed delisting rule back to them and returned endangered species protections to wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. I hoped optimistically that the Service would use the opportunity to seriously rethink their flawed approach to wolf recovery, but I was wrong. Rather than issuing any kind of revised proposal, the Service announced today that they will reopen public comment on their original failed proposal in the hopes of delisting the wolves once again before this administration leaves office.
This amounts to a basic admission that they will not fundamentally alter their delisting rule which has already been deemed to be on shaky legal ground. Obviously they have to make some changes, but they are not going to take the time or courtesy to tell us what those changes are. Instead we will only find out their new plan once it is already finalized.
The Bush administration is really chasing the clock these days to undo as many environmental safeguards as possible on their way out the door while limiting the public comment process. Unfortunately, this means pushing through ill-conceived plans while overlooking science and the law. Not only do the wolves deserve better than this, but the public does too.