Consulting in the Public Interest

Questions about Threatened and Endangered Species

CiPI occasionally gets requests from concerned citizens to examine the adequacy of environmental planning documents prepared for proposed land "developments" in compliance with laws to protect threatened and endangered species. They may wonder if an environmental impact analysis, mitigation plan or other planning document is adequate and sufficiently well-founded in science. They may wonder whether the proposed project really will have no significant impact on the species of concern, or that the mitigation really will reduce the impact to some less than significant level.

For example, a group of farmers recently asked us whether purchasing easements for the continued production of rice would really mitigate for the loss of habitat for the giant garter snake, which is a threatened species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the developerís environmental consultant both claimed that rice was important giant garter snake habitat, and that it would suffice as mitigation for the conversion of marsh into residential use at a 50% rate. We successfully showed the claim to be baseless -- all the scientific evidence showed the claim to be false. The mitigation plan has since taken new directions.

Although CiPI cannot respond to all such requests, we will research those that seem most likely to affect large land areas and multiple threatened and endangered species. So please contact us if you have a serious concern about the scientific foundation of environmental documentation prepared in support of some proposed change in land use. We might not find serious flaws in the environmental documents, and we might not win every battle with those promoting the project, and we also know that the stakes are high.


Consulting in the Public Interest
Box 220
Lambertville, NJ 08530
(609) 397-2370
(609) 397-1209 FAX

E-Mail: jimcook@cipi.com

This page was last updated on 07/02/05.