Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Buying silence...the Tejon Ranch habitat conservation plan

An AP report yesterday by Noaki Schwartz disclosed that a development company has bought the silence of  3 of the 6 or so condor specialists, evaluating the habitat conservation plan for a major housing development proposed in critical habitat of the endangered condor.  Apparently the Sierra Club, NRDC, Audubon California and other environmental groups helped negotiate the plan, which sets aside 375 square miles for the bird and other wildlife species.  And the developer then sought to retain virtually all of the scientists who could potentially testify about the plan's effects on the condor.  Environmental groups, the USFWS, and NOAA should implement a policy that rejects habitat conservation plans where the proponent seeks to silence potential independent evaluators with confidentiality agreements.  Any decision reached under such circumstances can hardly be based on the best scientific information available...just the best scientific information that hasn't been bought.Common Dreams

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2008/05/buying-silencet.html

Biodiversity, Economics, Environmental Assessment, Governance/Management, Land Use, Law, Physical Science, Sustainability, US | Permalink

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