Reply From USFWS About Spring Pygmy Sunfish
(This is reposted from the NANFA Forum, I'm not sure what else to say at the moment.)
I received a reply to my letter urging emergency listing of the spring pygmy sunfish today, from Patrick Leonard, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, of the Atlanta office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They aren't moved to do emergency listing of the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). I quote: "We reviewed the information provided in your letter and our files, and do not believe emergency listed [sic] is warranted at this time. This is based on the fact that the meta-population of spring pygmy sunfish within the Beaverdam Creek watershed is under no imminent threat. Also, the City of Huntsville, following the guidance of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, has actively corrected any perceived threats to the spring pygmy sunfish that may have occurred due to the expansion of a sewer line project in the area. Sampling of the population of spring pygmy sunfish in both Moss and Horton Springs has been historically sporadic."
Wow, you can believe what you must believe, I guess. The last sentence is odd; has the act of sampling Moss and Horton Springs been historically sporadic, or has the finding of sunfish in these springs been sporadic? Either way it begs the question of protecting the small areas left of necessary habitat. I'd feel better if they just said they really don't want to be bothered with this because they'd get their Guccis muddy, or whatever. I'll openly laugh at the next clown who mewls about the ESA being overused by an authoritarian government....