The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Chiricahua Leopard Frog: Messing with Nature

All this week we're considering the Endangered Species Act in New Mexico.  Today, KUNM’s Sidsel Overgaard brings you: The Case of the Disappearing Frogs...

The plight of the Chiricahua Leopard frog begins long ago, in a medical lab when researchers devise a way to use frogs as pregnancy tests.  The African Clawed frogs used for this purpose were soon shipped all around the world, carrying with them a deadly fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd for short (at least, that's the current favorite theory). 

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Lesser Prairie Chicken: Conservation Agreements

So far in our series, we’ve looked at some of the difficulties in recovering a species. But one of the emerging strengths of the Endangered Species Act is in its ability to spark compromise before a species ever makes it onto the list. And in the case of the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush lizard, just the threat of a listing has been enough to make for some unlikely allies in Southeastern New Mexico.

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse: A Sign of What's to Come

As part of our series on endangered species in New Mexico, Carrie and Sidsel took a field trip with WildEarth Guardians Executive Director, John Horning, to look for the elusive New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse (you really should listen to this one...it's a radio geek's dream, but not so translate-able to print...).

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

The Endangered Habitat Act?

You don't have to dig very deep into the ESA's 47 pages before you stumble upon this somewhat surprising passage.  You might think that the first state purpose of the Endangered Species Act would be to preserve species.  Lo and behold, it's the ecoystem that gets top billing:

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

"A Different Way of Going About This"

The yellow-billed cuckoo could soon be listed under a legal settlement reached last year. That threat is sparking signs of compromise down south.

Unless you are an environmental lawyer or glutton for punishment, I'm not sure I would recommend reading this paper entitled The Rio Grande silvery minnow: 11 Years of Litigation.  But skimming it will surely give you a sense of why I describe the Middle Rio Grande Collaborative Program as a "turbulent marriage."

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Dueling Scientists

credit: skeptically.org

The Endangered Species Act is a document based on science.  Mostly. 

When it comes to whether or not a species gets listed, the law is very clear, thanks to a 1982 amendment adding one key word...

BASIS FOR DETERMINATIONS.—(1)(A) The Secretary shall make determinations required by subsection (a)(1) solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available to him...

 

That's not the case, however, when it comes to designating critical habitat...

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

More from...Caren Cowan

No matter where you go in New Mexico, chances are there's a herd of cows nearby, grazing. And while good bit of that grazing is occurring on privately owned land, much of it is also taking place on federally or state owned land. Here Caren Cowan talks to the idea of why she thinks ranchers should not be shut out of public lands.

The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

More from...Michael Robinson

When you talk to Michael Robinson, there's no doubt, he's passionate about wolf recovery. Because he had so much to tell us, we've decided to share two more clips of his interview with you. In the first one, Michael tells us the story of the Mule Pack and their struggle to survive after being released from the captive breeding program in March of 2000. In the second clip, Michael delves in to the subject of politics and how he thinks they've swayed the folks at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

"So T Bought a Hat..."

  • Lucinda Cole on "not being environmentalists."
  • AT Cole talks about restoring the rare cienega on his ranch, one of only a handful remaining in the Southwest.

One of my favorite quotes in reporting on this series came from Lucinda Cole.  She and her husband, AT, are the owners of the ranch near Silver City where Randy Jennings took me looking for Chiracahua Leopard frogs

When the Coles retired to this ranch, it was with the intention of restoring native habitat that could support endangered species like the Leopard frog and Gila topminnow.  But they did not enter the scene naively:

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The Endangered Art of Compromise
12:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

More from...John Horning

Just like many of his fellow environmentalists, John Horning believes more Mexican Gray Wolves should be released from the captive breeding program, AND that they should be released directly into New Mexico. In this clip, Horning tells us why he thinks politics may be getting in the way of that agenda.

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