In 2008, the Bush administration removed Endangered Species Act protections for the West Virginia northern flying squirrel. This removal came despite dire projections from global warming models that predicted complete disappearance of the squirrels’ habitat and a lack of evidence to show the species’ populations had rebounded.
In response to a suit from the Center and allies to restore protections for the squirrel, a federal judge in 2011 reinstated its endangered status, holding, in a precedent-setting ruling, that the Service had violated the Endangered Species Act by not following its own science-based recovery plan for the species.
Rather than accepting that pro-science ruling, the Obama administration has decided to appeal it. Apparently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not want to have to follow its own recovery plans when deciding whether protections should be retained.
Please contact the Interior Department to help put the squirrels back on the endangered species list – it is the right thing to do. Remember, extinct is forever. We can’t bow to short-term thinking when considering the health of the planet and its inhabitants, especially those who can’t speak for themselves.