Taxonomic Concepts in the news

Mark Egger m.egger at COMCAST.NET
Wed Feb 16 17:13:59 CST 2005

And here's another appalling example of the misuse of scientific
information by the upper echelons of the USFWS to de-list species. In
a  letter to a USFWS official about 10 years ago I mentioned rather
casually and in passing that a plant species, Castilleja salsuginosa
from Nevada, then on the Candidate list for listing under the ESA,
might eventually be considered as a distinct variety of a more
widespread species. In the same letter I made a strong point of the
fact that I still considered this entity as a valid taxon, fully
deserving of listing as an Endangered Species, as it is known from
only a single population on private property. I received no reply
from said official. Then, about a year later, I read in the Federal
Register that C. salsuginosa had been dropped from the Candidate
list, due to "taxonomic confusion", and I was cited BY NAME, with my
comments quoted, totally without permission and out of context, as a
part of their rationale for de-listing the species! This was
especially egregious to me because the intention of my original
letter was just the opposite of this! I wrote an angry letter of
protest to the USFWS over the misuse and misquotation of my words and
to protest the de-listing, but this letter, as well, received no
reply. Needless to say, I don't talk to agency officials much
anymore... I'm sure the situation has only grown worse under the
"leadership" of the current administration.


>Match that with this one, and the picture is really bleak (at least from
>this side of the water):
>Meredith Lane
>David Remsen wrote:
>>Did anyone see this CNN post a couple of weeks ago?
>>The Preble's meadow jumping mouse, once seen as a costly impediment to
>>development, is now viewed by the government as a critter that never
>>really existed -- and is no longer in need of Federal Protection under
>>the Endangered Species Act.
>>It appears however that of the 14 reviewers in the decision, 6 still
>>believe the concept exists while 8 determined it does not.
>>The mouse however, had no comment.
>>David Remsen
>>uBio Project Developer
>>Marine Biological Laboratory
>>Woods Hole, MA 02543

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