Earthjustice has extensive experience with MacDonald's ways, having sued to counter the damage she did to a number of species including delta smelt, Sacramento River winter and spring run salmon, and others.
Earthjustice views today's Fish and Wildlife Service announcement appears to be a token house-cleaning because the agency has so far restricted its review to only eight species of the many species MacDonald meddled with. Other species, like the northern spotted owl, bull trout, marbled murrelet, and the Sacramento split-tail, are not being looked at all.
Julie MacDonald resigned in May after a scathing report from the Interior Department's Inspector General revealed that she had ridden roughshod over numerous decisions by agency scientists concerning endangered species protections. The report found she had violated ethics rules, edited scientific decisions on endangered species issues and passed internal agency documents to outside parties hostile to wildlife protection. Of particular concern is her involvement with a 2003 decision to remove the Sacramento split-tail from the endangered species list, a fish found on property she and her husband own in California.
"We hope the Fish and Wildlife Service will closely review all the decisions made by Julie MacDonald that put imperiled species at further risk of extinction," said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. "Earthjustice has challenged many of her decisions in court, and will continue to work to repair the damage she's done."
Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice, (206) 343-7340, ext. 25