The Dept. of Interior off to a rocky start in cleaning up their piece of the swamp

Here is a disappointing story.Obama added a bee to the endangered specie less than 60 days before he left office. This could have been removed with the 60 day rule but was not. Of concern, was why? The rule was so poorly written that it is ripe for the lawsuits by the environmentalists. Newly minted Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke knew how to make an entrance: He arrived at his first day of work in Washington on the back of a horse. He best saddle up and look at the species that inhabit his little piece of the swamp.

…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.

Rusty-Patchd Bumble Bee potential habitat

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!

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!

More at Whats up with that

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