Re: Passthis on to Bob Goldstien PHD

Forwarded from the Native Fish email line....

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997 12:59:10 -0500 (EST) Rjga at aol_com writes:
>In a message dated 97-01-14 11:36:03 EST, you write:
>             by John Bondhus, Monticello, Minnesota
>  >>
>I finally read this excellent report, and would like to share my own
>experiences and opinions.
>On the infrequent occasion when USF&WS has announced that it is 
>seeking input
>to a recovery plan, I have submitted proposals for captive breeding 
>reintroductions of the offspring. In every case, I have been told 
>there is no
>money available, the person(s) is/are no longer in charge of that 
>there is no program, or USF&WS is already working with someone else on
>related/unrelated projects. In short, a flat-out dead end. In most 
>USFWS either has no recovery program in any stage of development or 
>the responsibilities for recovery plan development among the in-house 
>often at different locations, with expertise or interest in the 
>critter. Their track record is not something we should all emulate. 
>regard to redcockaded woodpecker which are protected and presumed 
>present and
>requiring acreage if certain conditions are met, the agency went 
>through an
>educational process. The offensiveness or some Napoleonic agent caused 
>least one large landowner, who had been managing his land for hunting 
>and at
>the same time benefitting the bird, to stick it to the agency and cut 
>trees before they became large enough to trigger federal protective 
>and he could no longer do with his land what he planned (periodic 
>He would have cooperated had he been given the chance (thinning while
>maintaining habitat trees).  Since then, the agency has changed its 
>ways and now goes out of its way to be cooperative. It has learned 
>that honey
>gets the job done. Still the agency is hampered by divided 
>with some people having authority to develop management plans and 
>others the
>authority to develop recovery plans. And they are in different 
>locations. And
>you need to leave messages on their answering machines to get them 
>(they have
>other things to do and no staffs to do them). 
>    The USF&WS track record with fish is much worse than with birds or
>plants. It gives little effort, little funding, and still works with
>anachronistic state agencies who think that the way to protect a 
>species is
>to prohibit collection or possession, when it is clear today that the
>greatest threats to species are habitat loss and introduction of 
>usually baitfish, species. In North Carolina, for example, it is 
>illegal to
>collect state protected species, but there are no laws against 
>habitat. The fines for violation are a pittance, well within the 
>budget of
> even an amateur collector or developer.
>     USF&WS and some enlightened state agency people now must manage
>protection of dwindling species - but only those with some formal 
>(rare isn't good enough) - by withholding concurrence of approvals for
>construction projects or approvals/concurrences with environmental
>assessments and findings of no significant impact (EA/FONSI). These 
>to concur typically force those with the wherewithall to change their
>construction plans to avoid or minimize damage to protected 
>populations. It's
>not perfect, but it's pretty much all we have going in species 
>     In my view, that's not only inadequate, little more than a 
>Maginot Line,
>but criminal. USF&WS is not doing what needs to be done. The agency is 
>small, with too little funding, and virtually no clout. Would you hire 
>school crossing guard to investigate burglaries? That's about what we 
>doing in this country which, sad to say, is better than almost all 
>major countries except Australia.
>     I believe the solution is to take authority for enforcement and 
>under the Endangered and Threatened Species Act away from USF&WS and 
>turn it
>over  to the EPA. The former agency is under the jurisdiction of the 
>Dept of
>the Interior, an agency that appears to be doing as much good for 
>species as it has done for the American Indian. It was the latter 
>agency that
>enforced a ban on DDT that led to the recovery of the brown pelican, 
>eagle, and other fish-eating birds. EPA  has a track record of getting 
>done, working with the public, holding meetings, forming 
>society working groups, and - let's face it - hiring highly educated 
>with advanced degrees for almost every position. EPA is in Congress' 
>face at
>all times, knows how to get money, knows how to develop, advertise,
>negotiate, implement, and enforce regulations that win over the public 
>and in
>many cases the regulated community. And they do all this without silly
>paramilitary uniforms and badges. 
>     USF&WS has a lot of good people. They work for a decrepit agency. 
>protected species management were given over to EPA, I'm sure most of 
>would opt for a transfer to that agency. And EPA is good enough to 
>pick the
>cream while rejecting those current USFWS employees who, like us PhDs 
>MDs) "don't do anybody any good." - Bob Goldstein        

Wow......Sonds like you have been fighting the fight for a long TIME....I
was not aware of your serious involvment . I just want to say thanks ,
you may not believe it but your efforts make a difference. There are a
lot of us folks out here who want practical logical resource managment
not emotional or political gobblygook....What can NANFA do to help? We
are just getting our endanged species program off the ground but would
be glad to help in any reasonable way we can !!!

Robert Rice

President NANFA