From the Washington Post: Federal wildlife officials have launched an effort to combat a growing number of species with a new “wildlife initiative” that aims to make wildlife more accessible to the public.
The new initiative aims to improve habitat for endangered species by increasing habitat conservation and protecting vulnerable species from the effects of climate change, according to a draft Environmental Impact Statement issued Wednesday by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for managing federal lands.
The Wildlife Initiative is a new effort aimed at promoting “reintroducing species that are threatened with extinction,” according to the draft Environmental Statement, which was provided to reporters by a Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson.
The agency is expected to release the draft in the coming days.
The Fish and Game Service has not released a complete draft of the plan, which is expected in mid-February, nor have it released an update on how the initiative is progressing.
But it is the latest move by the agency to try to promote the idea that it is “better to see wild species in the wild,” said Dan Ragsdale, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The new initiative, Ragsden said, is “a bit of a gamble because it seems like they’re trying to create a climate-friendly vision that people are going to take seriously.”
“They don’t have a strong scientific basis for the idea, and they’re not showing the public a compelling vision that we need to have,” Ragsdal said.
“They’re not really trying to get the public excited about the idea.
So I think it’s a gamble, and I think this is a really, really risky idea.”
The Fish & Wildlife Service has been trying to promote a “Wild” theme for decades, focusing on protecting endangered species like the gray wolf and the gray squirrel, as well as helping the endangered Atlantic salmon to reestablish themselves in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The agency has worked to increase the numbers of gray wolves and sea turtles on federal lands, for example.
But the agency has struggled to show that this is helping the species thrive.
The Obama administration is also moving aggressively to protect endangered species from climate change.
A federal law signed in 2014, the Endangered Species Act, created an agency that can regulate wildlife populations.
But this agency has been unable to protect the animals from climate disruption, and it has been slow to do so.
The draft Environmental Assessment, which includes a range of climate-related goals, states that the Wildlife Initiative would “increase the diversity of species by reducing the impact of climate variability on threatened species.”
The document goes on to state that the “Wildlands Program will promote a holistic approach to managing wildlife habitat that includes habitat restoration, wildlife management, and sustainable agriculture.”
It goes on, “Wildland Program will enhance and improve habitat management, reduce the impact on native species and communities by increasing biodiversity and improving habitat use.”
It also states that “Wilderness Program will provide a habitat management program for species of special concern, including the grizzly bear, black bear, moose, and mountain lion.”
The document does not include a list of the species or populations the Wildlife Program aims to help, but it does state that “the wildlife program is aimed at increasing diversity and promoting a habitat-dependent ecosystem.”
The Interior Department is currently in the midst of developing its first plan to increase habitat for grizzly bears in the Upper Missouri River basin, according a press release from the Fish & Game Service on the new initiative.
The proposal was approved in February, and is being phased in.
The department is expected not to release any final plans before the end of the year.
The release of the draft of this “Wild Species Initiative” comes at a time when the Obama administration has been moving to expand the use of the Interior Department’s Endangered Wildlife Act.
The Endangered List is the federal designation that gives federal land protections for endangered wildlife species.
Under the Endlist, the federal government can grant the authority to manage endangered species to states, tribes, cities, and towns, with certain exceptions, including “near-endangered species.”
The proposed Endangered species initiative would not extend this authority to any “near species” and would “not expand it beyond its current scope,” the document states.
Instead, the proposed initiative would “implement and enhance the Endlisted Endangered Animal Program, including by increasing the number of Endangered and Endangered/Near-endossess animals.”
The Endangered & Near Species Program is a multi-agency initiative designed to support endangered species and their habitats through coordinated federal efforts to conserve, restore, and enhance their natural resources.
The Endlist is a major program for conserving endangered species, and the proposed Endlisted program would help to expand its reach to support the End endangered species program and the End Near Species program, which the Fish Department and BLM currently administer jointly.
The department has been under fire in recent months after a