Silvery Minnow Ruling Prompts Calls for ESA Reform

Liberty News Service


The Tenth Circuit's ruling that the Rio Grande silvery minnow has water rights, superceding those of humans, has New Mexico politicians demanding significant changes in the Endangered Species Act.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Sen. Pete Dominici (R-NM), told the Senate that the Court's decision "favors fish over people."

"I believe we can amend this law to better protect struggling species while still allowing people access to the resources we need to survive," and says he will prepare legislation to attach to the next bill moving out of the Senate.

Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) is singing a different tune from last week's bombast of calling in the "God Squad" to rule on the minnow case.

Now he says, "I don't think we can amend or change the Endangered Species Act. I don't think there's the votes or the strength or the effort to change it." (Read "guts").

Environmental groups say they see Domenici's legislation as a serious threat to the ESA.

Brock Evans of the Endangered Species Coalition calls 2003 the most dangerous year ever for endangered species: "There are at least six different pending bills not counting all of the riders to other pieces of legislation that would repeal the act."

A search reveals not one bill to repeal the Act. Mr. Brock and others of his ilk must see a super fundraising issue here.


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