White House Blocks Listing of Bumble Bee As Endangered Species
The rusty-patched bumble bee was scheduled to be added to the
The population of the rusty-patched bumble bee has plunged by 90 percent since the early 1990's following a trend that has seen bee populations plummeting in general. On January 11th, a new rule was adopted to add the bee to the ESA and a mandatory 30-day waiting period went into effect.
But on January 20th, Donald
"The Trump administration has put the rusty-patched bumblebee back on the path to extinction," Rebecca Riley, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council
told CBS News
. "This bee is one of the most critically endangered species in the country and we can save it - but not if the
NBC News received a statement from the nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation that reads, "Delays to protecting this already vulnerable pollinator may prove catastrophic."
With the Trump administration's mode of operation generally leaning towards eliminating regulations, environmental advocates fear the delay will be permanent.
But not everyone is upset by the decision to wait. The American Farm Bureau Federation, a lobbying group that opposes the Endangered Species Act, celebrated in a statement . It reads in part, "The increased regulatory burden of the ESA negatively affects rural quality of life and jeopardizes the overall agriculture economy." In the past, the AFBF has claimed the ESA puts "the interests of species above those of people, and through its prohibitions against 'taking' of species, it can restrict a wide range of human activity in areas where species exist or may possibly exist."
The ESA requires that the government "protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend." Since the act was passed in 1973, there have been 28 species delisted due to recovery, including the bald eagle.
Aside from the rusty-patched bumble bee, no other pending endangered species listings are affected by Trump's order. Time will tell if this important pollinator is in the crosshairs of the administration.