Fwd: ESA Response Letter

Co-Administrator Co-Administrator at forestnet.com
Tue Feb 14 12:38:34 EST 1995

>Date: Wed, 8 Feb 1995 14:59:28 -0800
>From: Matthew Kenna <mkenna at igc.apc.org>
>To: silver at indirect.com, swcbd at igc.apc.org
>Subject: ESA Response Letter
>Matthew Kenna, Attorney
>Public Interest Environmental Law

>1310 Meadow Road
>Durango, Colorado  81301
>						Feb. 8, 1995
>Letters to the Editor
>Durango Herald
>To the Editor:
>     There have been recent letters arguing that the Endangered Species Act
(ESA) should
>include cost-benefit analyses and generally consider the human factor.
Well, it already does.
>     It is true that when deciding whether to list a species as endangered,
the government
>should consider only whether "substantial scientific or commercial
information" warrants the
>listing. 16 U.S.C.  1533(b)(3)(A).  However, when establishing habitat
critical for a
>species' survival, the government must take "into consideration the
economic impact, and any
>other relevant impact" of establishing that critical habitat, and exclude
areas where the costs
>outweigh the benefits, unless it would cause the species to go extinct. 16
U.S.C.  1533
>     Further, when a project such as the A-LP is proposed, an endangered
species is highly
>unlikely to stop it.  Rather, if a proposed project is likely to jeopardize
a species with
>extinction, or adversely modify the critical habitat required for its
survival, the government
>merely needs to come up with "reasonable and prudent alternatives" that
would allow the
>project to be completed without causing the species to become extinct. 16
>1536(b)(3)(A).  That is what is happening with the A-LP.  The only reason
this process has
>delayed the project is because the project builders waited until they were
forced in a lawsuit
>to follow it.
>     Lastly, even if there were a project or activity for which no
alternative could be found
>that would allow it to proceed without causing the extinction of a species,
there is a provision
>in the ESA that would allow the project to go forward anyway.  It is the
so-called "God
>Squad" provision, which requires a committee of high-ranking government
officers to decide
>whether, based on a cost-benefit analysis and other factors, to allow a
species to go extinct so
>the project can go forward. 16 U.S.C.  1536(e),(h).  True, this is not an
easy provision to
>invoke, but shouldn't that be the case when deciding whether to let an
entire species go
>     You can look up all these provisions- Fort Lewis has these and all the
public laws in
>its library.
>                              Sincerely,
>                              Matt Kenna

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To: silver at indirect.com
From: silver at indirect.com (Robin Silver)
Subject: ESA Response Letter

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