Endanger MouseOctober 29, 2009
Dave Cherney notes that a recent lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to list five different species of Pika. As Cherney notes, what makes this lawsuit unique is that the Center is claiming that the sole threat to the Pika is climate change. Surmising that no feasible management strategy could be adopted to address this problem, Cherney then speculates that perhaps this is primarily a symbolic battle.
I’m no lawyer, but I suspect there’s more to it than sheer symbolism. Concrete management strategies may not emerge out of a ruling, true; but if it can be demonstrated in court that climate change is the primary mover, such a ruling will either give Interior greater jurisdiction and justification to regulate emissions, just as EPA does with pesticides (and maybe soon GHG emissions), or it will result in a re-examination of the scope of the act. Indeed, the Center played a similar card a few years ago with EPA.