Species are supposed to be delisted based on the “best available science”. The recent controversy over the wolf’s delisting from the endangered species list is not just a flare up over competing values — wolves, love them or hate them.
An excellent argument, including a legal argument, can be made that it was delisted after some obscure political dealing — no transparency.
We have heard that the relevant governors were consulted in private. They wanted delisting, at least the Red State governors and Montana. The following is not confirmed, but we have heard that two Blue State governors, the Democratic governors of Oregon and Washington did not agree to delisting. To confirm this story, readers might want to point blank contact their office and see.
The delisting came after a couple weeks delay that briefly raised hopes of wolf conservationists. PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) is suing to find out what was going on. The suit was filed right after delay began and before the announcement of the final delisting.
These matters are supposed to be transparent. We have come to odd condition in this country where the government feels free to audit all your electronic business, but the laws that let you see them have been allowed to grow opaque.
There are those who will cheer the delisting of the wolf regardless, but the question remains how were the consultations carried out, and why were hosts of relevant scientists ignored and their objections both, public and private, never answered? Recently, Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter provided The Wildlife News with a letter on this signed by a number of his colleagues.
There rarely is complete scientific consensus, but scientists expect that their well put questions be answered. Secrecy has no place in scientific endeavor. It is the method of trying to hide something, for good or for ill, but it is not the scientific method. If an astronomer, for example, says he has discovered a new exo-planet, he or she will not be believed if they refuse to provide data or answer questions.
A democracy cannot persist where the people are spied on if they are not told the reasons, even if it is for the best of reasons. That coupled with secret decisions foretell dark days to come.
Here is a news release on the PEER lawsuit.