War On Biodiversity
Julie MacDonald … has been deputy assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks since 2004 [making] decisions on protecting endangered species [and] has repeatedly refused to go along with staff reports … President Bush’s appointees have added far fewer species to the protected list than did the administrations of either Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush [at] rate of about 10 a year. Under Clinton … 64 a year, and under George H.W. Bush … 59 a year … MacDonald [is] a civil engineer by training … In a few instances, federal judges have overturned decisions that MacDonald had influenced. After she declared that the endangered Santa Barbara and Sonoma salamanders were no longer “distinct populations” entitled to protection [a judge] ruled that MacDonald had arbitrarily instructed Fish and Wildlife scientists to downgrade the two species even though an agency scientist concluded that “genetics state otherwise”.