Taxonomic Concepts in the news

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Feb 16 21:42:37 CST 2005


Hi Mark,
      I decided to read that Federal Register entry (1996), and it says that it was being removed from candidate status "while its taxonomic is under review."  I wonder if this means they knew of actual plans to review it, or if they are just waiting to see if someone would eventually review it (knowing the government, I guess it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.  :-)   Typical lawyer speak, so who knows?  But every database that I saw, still lists Castilleja salsuginosa as a valid species.

      Anyway, I wonder how effective it is that the State of Nevada gives this species a protected status.  Does state protection come anywhere near the protection afforded a federally protected species?   Also, I am wondering if the second population of this species (in Eureka County) was found before or after 1995-96.  As far as I can tell, it's just two small locales in adjacent counties, and that's it for this species.
       --- Ken Kinman
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Mark Egger wrote:
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.




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