An alarming snippet came across the news section of the Mountain Lion Foundation’s website recently: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it is stepping down from its watchdog role over the endangered Florida Panther, leaving protection of Florida’s state animal in the hands of Florida government. This is troublesome news as the state has a history of siding with habitat-destroying developers over the plants and animals that exist there.
The USFWS withdrew from panther protection in order to “streamline” the permitting process for development projects, leaving Florida with the expectation that the state must adopt the same priorities (such as fracking in the Big Cypress region). It is feared that these actions and attitudes will influence other states to adopt the same disregard for wildlife.
Could this be the start of a nationwide undoing of the Federal Endangered Species Act?
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