Conservationists erupt after White House adjusts ‘endangers species’ policies

President Trump and his administration have no shortage of haters.  From the radical left to the soybean lobby, the Commander in Chief has received his fair share of criticism over the years, and then some.

As a controversial newcomer to The Beltway, Trump has pushed the bounds of what many Americans believed that politics could become.  He’s a bombastic resultist who thrives on the friction against him.

The latest group to find themselves quarreling with the White House are conservationists, but these nature lovers’ bark is likely much worse than their bite.

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What brought about the storm of criticism?

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The Trump administration on Monday rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades to enforcement of the landmark Endangered Species Act, allowing the government to put an economic cost on saving a species and other changes critics contend could speed extinction for some struggling plants and animals.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and other administration officials contend the changes improve efficiency of oversight, while protecting rare species.

“The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal_recovery of our rarest species,” he said. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.”

But not everyone is on board.

The regulations” take a wrecking ball to one of our oldest and most effective environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act,” Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, said in a statement. “As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection – no matter how effective or popular – is safe from this administration.”

At least 10 attorneys general joined conservation groups in protesting an early draft of the changes, saying they put more wildlife at greater risk of extinction.

Conservationists promised legal action.

“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: it’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal. We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it,” Drew Caputo, a vice president of litigation for the conservation advocacy group Earthjustice.

More than one million plant and animals species face extinction within decades, the United Nations has proclaimed.


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