By Gary Bogue
Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 6:50 am in California tiger salamander.
I just got the following good news this morning in my weekly e-newsletter from the Center for Biological Diversity:
In response to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit against Bush-era corruption, on Tuesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service re-proposed to protect 74,223 acres of habitat for California tiger salamanders in Sonoma County.
The yellow-striped California tiger salamander, with its mouth always spread in an apparent grin, didn’t really have much to smile about — especially in Sonoma County, where development threatens 95 percent of remaining salamander habitat.
In 2002, the Sonoma County salamanders were protected under the Endangered Species Act, and soon after about 74,000 acres of protected habitat were first proposed for the deserving amphibian. But three years later, science-tainting Bush administration officials made sure that proposal literally came to nothing. The salamander’s protected acreage, and its chance at long-term survival, was slashed to zero.
The Center lawsuit to earn the salamander habitat protections is part of the biggest endangered species act litigation action ever undertaken — a Center campaign started in 2007 to protect 61 species and more than 8 million acres of habitat wrongly denied safeguards because of Bush administration political interference.
So far, the Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to rethink protection for the Mexican garter snake and redo habitat decisions for 20 species (including the salamander).