13 Apr 2011:
U.S. Congress Strips Wolves
Of Endangered Status — A Legislative First
For the first time ever, the U.S. Congress has intervened to remove an animal from the Endangered Species List
, attaching a rider to the federal budget that ends federal protection for gray wolves in the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife
northern Rocky Mountains. The new provisions would instead put management of wolves in Montana and Idaho in the hands of state agencies, a shift that a federal judge had recently refused to approve, in part because it could increase the likelihood of commercial wolf hunts in the two states this fall. Environmental groups called passage of the budget rider a dangerous precedent that would allow Congress, rather than a science-based federal agency, to remove endangered species protections. “Now, anytime anybody has an issue with an endangered species, they are going to run to Congress and try to get the same treatment,” Michael T. Leahy, the Rocky Mountain region director for Defenders of Wildlife, told the New York Times
. The budget compromise reached by Democrats and Republicans last weekend also cut the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 16 percent
– a reduction of about $1.6 billion.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.