ESA "No Surprises" (fwd)

Doug Yanega dyanega at MONO.ICB.UFMG.BR
Thu Apr 24 17:21:36 CDT 1997

I'm not in a position to write in regarding this, but there are probably
many folks on this list (and the ones I'm crossposting to) who CAN get
letters in by the deadline. Apologies to non-US listmembers...but we've got
a sneaky batch of politicians and sometimes e-mail is our last hope for
scientific unity. ;-)

>Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 14:35:38 +0600
>Reply-To: bene at
>Originator: bene at
>Sender: bene at
>Precedence: none
>From: Michael Schindel <mschinde at>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <bene at>
>Subject: ESA "No Surprises" (fwd)
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
>X-Comment: Biodiversity and Ecosystems NEtwork (BENE) Email ListServer
> Hello all,
> The Fish and Wildlife Service recently implemented 10 policies to make
> the Endangered Species Act less onerous to industry. The most extreme of
> these policies is known as "No Surprises". This policy has been written
> into hundreds of Habitat Conservation Plans which have resulted in
> Incidental Take for numerous listed species.
> "No Surprises" is intended to provide certainty for industry. The
> "Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook" published by the USFWS(pages
> 3-27 to 3-32) states,
>        if unforseen circumstances occur during the life of an HCP, the
>        FWS and NMFS will not require additional lands, additional
>        funds, or additional restrictions on lands or other natural
>        resources released for development or cases where the
>        status of a species addressed under an HCP worsens, the primary
>        obligation for implementing additional conservation measures
>        would be borne by the Federal government, other governmental
>        agencies, private conservation organizations, or other private
>        landholders who have not yet developed an HCP.
> The Service implemented this policy without public comment and notice.
> A suit filed last Halloween, "Spirit of the Sage, et al vs. Bruce
> Babbitt", forced the FWS to full public review of "No Surprises". Because
> the policy is included in virtually every Incidental Take Permit issued
> in recent history, as well as those in process, this decision opens the
> administrative record to comments on specific HCPs as well as the policy
> itself. However, the comment period ends on April 28th.
> Your letters are desperately needed. "No Surprises" has profound
> implications for land-use policy and endangered species. Because this
> issue has not received much publicity, many of the people who are
> qualified to comment were not informed. The service must base its
> decision upon the input received from the public. As few as 100 letters
> will decide whether the public will pay for the impacts of private
> industry on this country's biodiversity.
> Your letters should be sent to;
>                        Sherry Barrett
>                        Fish and Wildlife Service
>                        Carlsbad Field Office
>                        2730 Loker Ave. West
>                        Carlsbad Field Office
>                        92008
> Thanks
> ***************************************************************************
>                The views expressed above are strictly my own
> ***************************************************************************

Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-448-1223, fax: 031-44-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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