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Trump's Pick to Head Fish & Wildlife Worked With Groups Opposed to Protecting Endangered Species

The Department of Fish and Wildlife [within the Interior Department] enforces federal wildlife laws including the Endangered Species Act [ESA]. It's also responsible for protecting migratory birds and fisheries, and conserving and restoring wildlife habitat, such as wetlands. The Department is vitally important to the nation's conservation efforts and its director must be willing to battle vested economic interests to accomplish it's mission. So, it's a bit of problem when the person tapped to lead the agency has close ties to the agrochemical company Monsanto and another corporation called, somewhat ironically, Wetlands Water District, which has worked to undermine elements of the ESA in California meant to protect "water habitat for endangered salmon, delta smelt, and other aquatic species."

Present Trump's nominee is Aurelia Skipwith and she has an employment history and ties inimical to the goals of the agency she has been tapped to run.

Newsweek: "During her tenure at Monsanto, the company lobbied the federal government—including the Department of Interior (DOI), where Skipworth now works—to loosen the ESA and issues relating to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, conservation practices and mining permits, the Department of Influence reports."

Moreover, Skipwith, who is already a top deputy within the Department of the Interior, has not shown a keen interest in protecting wildlife, according to a recent Newsweek report.

Newsweek: "In her role of deputy, she has requested the National Park Service and [Fish and Wildlife] FWS review rules preventing hunters from killing bears and wolves with extreme methods, including baiting and ambushing mothers with pups, the Department of Influence reports. She has also expressed opposition to initiatives attempting to crack down on water pollution produced by coal mining."
"On her nomination, 27 former members of [Fish and Wildlife] FWS signed a letter opposing her appointment to the role, saying she "lacks the training and experience necessary for this position" and her background largely consists of "serving as a consultant or attorney dealing with non-wildlife and non-conservation issues." They add that her "job history includes potential conflicts of interest which raise serious questions about her ability to act in the public interest."

Republicans in the Senate environment committee approved Skipwith’s nomination in a party-line vote of 11-10.

#news #environment

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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