The Campaign Spot

Hope and Change May Be Coming For Mexican Garter Snakes

One of the places I’ll be checking regularly to get a sense of what the Obama Administration is doing under the radar is the Federal Register, a listing of all announcements, proposed rules, new rules, and other regulatory changes published each weekday.

In today’s edition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a finding that the Mexican garter snake warrants protection as an endangered species, but that such protection is precluded by other actions to add it to the list of endangered species. This decision infuriates the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental interest group seeking to put more species on the endangered list.

“Despite recognizing that the Mexican garter snake is near extinction in the United States and severely threatened in Mexico, the Bush administration has again decided to delay protection for the snake,” said Noah Greenwald, biodiversity program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “A decision to delay is typical of the Administration’s abysmal record protecting endangered species…. We look forward to working with an Obama administration to obtain protection for these species as soon as possible,” Greenwald said. “Our goal is to obtain a schedule for protecting all 282 species, including the garter snake, within three years.”

There’s a fight worth watching. Imagine the restrictions on development and construction with another 282 species added to the endangered list.

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