8 Mar 2010, 4:21pm
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Defenders of Wildlife General Counsel Appointed to US Justice Dept.

Bob Dreher, the General Counsel of the Defenders of Wildlife, a litigious lobbying group that has sued the US Government hundreds of times, has been appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General to oversee the Natural Resources and Wildlife and Marine Resources sections of the US Dept. of Justice.

Dreher has also previously served as co-managing director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice).

Defenders and Earthjustice are among the groups that have bled the American taxpayer for $4.7 billion in legal fees through the Equal Opportunity to Justice Act [here]. Defenders has ongoing lawsuits currently in Federal courts regarding wolves, plovers, turtles, caribou, wolverines, right whales, jaguars, sage-grouse, and who knows what else.

Now the Obama Administration has hired the Defenders General Counsel to oppose the very lawsuits he brought against the government.

Conflict of interest? More like deliberate sabotage of the public interest on behalf of a well-healed lobbying group.

What next? Will Barack Hussein Obama appoint Osama Bin Laden to be on the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces? Will he appoint Bernie Madoff to run the Federal Reserve?

What does Congress think? Can Congress think?

Who does this country belong to, the citizens or an evil cabal of anti-American saboteurs?

Don’t believe me? Here’s the US Dept. of Justice announcement:

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Friday, March 5, 2010 [here]

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno Announces Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Senior Leadership

WASHINGTON—Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), today announced the members of the division’s senior leadership. The announcement came on the same day that Assistant Attorney General Moreno was officially installed by Attorney General Eric Holder as the division’s head.

“I am pleased to welcome this team of outstanding and committed professionals who will join the hard working and talented civil servants who make up the Environment and Natural Resources Division. They hail from environmental groups, academia, government and private practice, and will put this experience to good use in vigorously enforcing our nation’s environmental laws and defending agency actions and environmental statutes,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno.

The leadership team includes: …

Robert Dreher, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General—

As a seasoned environmental lawyer, Dreher has extensive experience in conservation policy, environmental law and natural resources management. He has represented environmental organizations, federal agencies, tribes and businesses in a variety of environmental matters. Dreher previously served as senior vice president for Climate Change and Conservation Law and General Counsel of Defenders of Wildlife. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Executive Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law &; Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, and as deputy general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earlier in his career, he was a staff and co-managing attorney of the Washington, D.C. office of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice). Representing tribes, government agencies, businesses and environmental groups in solo private practice, he served as counsel to the law firm Troutman Sanders LLC and as an associate at the Boston firm Hill & Barlow. He has taught federal natural resources law at The George Washington University Law School and at Georgetown University Law Center. Dreher received his J.D. from Yale Law School, a Masters in American Civilization from Brown University, and his undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

Dreher will oversee the Natural Resources and Wildlife and Marine Resources sections.

5 Feb 2010, 10:48pm
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NAIS is NOT dead!

by Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here, here]

No one should be breathing a sigh of relief that the “National Animal Identification System,” or “NAIS,” is dead. It becomes immediately clear, when reading the “Factsheet” below the news release, that the language deception has simply been ramped up a couple of notches. The “840″ “country code” — which is an INTERNATIONAL identification code — remains firmly in place. RFID tags are still the preferred way. The information already gathered will NOT be deleted or removed. There is no mention whatsoever of giving up on the original intent or its tentacles. Notice that there is no contact information for a USDA spokesperson. Whoever said “There’s a sucker born every minute” is alive and working for the USDA.

Note: bold areas below are my emphasis added.

USDA Announces New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability [here]

Release No. 0053.10, February 5, 2010

Washington, D.C., February 5, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced today that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.

“After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from States, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard.”

The framework, announced today at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Mid-Year meeting, provides the basic tenets of an improved animal disease traceability capability in the United States. USDA’s efforts will:

* Only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
* Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations to provide more flexibility;
* Encourage the use of lower-cost technology; and
* Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.

“One of my main goals for this new approach is to build a collaborative process for shaping and implementing our framework for animal disease traceability,” said Vilsack. “We are committed to working in partnership with States, Tribal Nations and industry in the coming months to address many of the details of this framework, and giving ample opportunity for farmers and ranchers and the public to provide us with continued input through this process.”

One of USDA’s first steps will be to convene a forum with animal health leaders for the States and Tribal Nations to initiate a dialogue about the possible ways of achieving the flexible, coordinated approach to animal disease traceability we envision. Additionally, USDA will be revamping the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health to address specific issues, such as confidentiality and liability.

Although USDA has a robust system in place to protect U.S. agriculture, with today’s announcement, the Department will also be taking several additional actions to further strengthen protections against the entry and spread of disease. These steps will include accelerating actions to lessen the risk from diseases — such as tuberculosis — posed by imported animals, initiating and updating analyses on how animal diseases travel into the country, improving response capabilities, and focusing on greater collaboration and analyses with States and industry on potential disease risk overall.

More information on USDA’s new direction on animal traceability and the steps to improve disease prevention and control is available [here]

more »

13 Jul 2009, 7:59pm
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Studying Jaguars to Death

by The Rogue Pundit, June 30, 2009, [here]

A century ago, the jaguar was found in the four states bordering Mexico-as far north as the Grand Canyon. However, it has been all-but-extirpated from this country via hunting and habitat loss. Jaguars are still occasionally seen in southern Arizona and New Mexico, but there’s no known breeding population here. Recently, it seems that one of the greatest dangers to jaguars in or near the U.S. is researchers trying to study them.

In the last seven years, biologists have captured four jaguars in the Arizona-Sonora region, in each case intending to put a radio collar on the animal and follow its movements.

June 9, 2002: Nacori Chico, Sonora

The animal never recovered from sedation and died as the warm morning turned hot. Rosas attributed the death to “heat stress.”

Ugh. The animal had been trapped in a leg snare. The first ketamine dart didn’t do the trick, but the second dart-a half-dose, sure did. The researcher was a PhD student from New Mexico State University. … [more]

17 Feb 2009, 1:53pm
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New Site: News From the Salmon Front

W.I.S.E. is pleased to announced the addition of a new Commentary subsite: News From the Salmon Front [here].

News From the Salmon Front is written by W.I.S.E. Board Member, Portland attorney, and salmon expert James Buchal, author of The Great Salmon Hoax [here].

Please enjoy and learn. As is the case on the other W.I.S.E. commentary and news subsites, informative and polite comments are welcome.

20 Jan 2009, 6:47pm
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Hard Disk Crash

My apologies to all. The hard disk in the server somewhere in the Midwest crashed, resulting in a 28 hour downtime for W.I.S.E. and the loss of a couple of days worth of posts and comments.

We are pursuing other ISP options, looking for providers with redundancy and back-up, so that situations such as just occurred never happen again.

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