Which is deadliest to endangered creatures: (a) a developer with a bulldozer, (b) a logger with a chainsaw, (c) a trophy hunter with a rifle, or (d) a determined editor with a blue pencil?
Julie MacDonald seals the case for (d). As deputy assistant secretary in the Department of the Interior (a political appointment), she has the authority to shape the evidence for listing species as "threatened" or "endangered." Documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity show that she has repeatedly disregarded the recommendations of career scientists, even changing their findings to reverse their conclusions. This may help explain why the Bush administration has listed fewer species than any other. Failure to obtain listing can be the kiss of death; 79 percent of the plants and animals that have gone extinct since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 1973 were not listed. Here's MacDonald's MO:
There follows a few examples of how Ms. MacDonald conducts her job. James Watt revisited...