CBD sues over definition of endangered for pygmy owls

CBD history of gaining millions through intimidation and litigation

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s denial of Endangered Species Act protection to pygmy owls. The group wants the pygmy owl’s endangered status restored across the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico in 2007.

The agency’s denial of protection for the pygmy owl is based on the fact that the owls are not endangered in the entire region in which they are found. The Arizona population of owl was listed as endangered in 1997.

Ten years later, a court ordered Fish and Wildlife to reevaluate the Arizona pygmy owl population apart from those in Mexico. The agency determined that loss of pygmy owls from the Sonoran Desert would not endanger the species as a whole; it therefore denied protection.

Just last week, James A. Sturgess, Rosemont Senior Vice President, said the CBD has a history of gaining millions of our federal tax dollars through intimidation and litigation.

Sturgess cited an interview in which, Kieran Suckling, founder of the CBD, says, “New injunctions, new species listings and new bad press take a terrible toll on agency morale… Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning.

The core talent of a successful environmental activist is not science and law. It’s campaigning instinct. That’s not only not taught in the universities, it’s discouraged.”

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