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Presentation at 6th Massachusetts Green Career Conference

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zygmuntplatergcc2014keynote

  1. 1. What it Takes to Make Environmentalism Work                                                                                — A Swath of People, a Spectrum of Skills, & Big Thoughts from a Small Fish                                                                        Mass  Green  Careers  Conference  2014            Zygmunt Plater, Boston College
  2. 2. [Earth,  water  +  air]  
  3. 3. !
  4. 4. “Fringe lunatics” Sean Hannity   “…anti-Biblical, anti-Torah, anti-Christian…” Ann Coulter   “Homosocialism, communism!…” Rush Limbaugh   “The same people who struggle to save the snail darter bless the Pill…and defend abortion.” Allan Bloom   They are worried about the snail darters and the bark on the tree and the ozone. They go crazy…. Roger Ailes, Fox News “It’s time to take America back: It seems everybody’s got a right to their habitat -- from the snail darter to the spotted owl to the fairy shrimp… except the habitat of U.S. citizens. Their property, their homes, their dwellings, their ‘eco-systems’ are up for grabs by any and every government agency and bureaucrat for any and every reason.” National Review “The Snail Darter has sort of became the shorthand for overregulation in this country.” Rep. Devin Nunes, (R), California  
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  8. 8.                                                     PHOTOS  ©  ROGER  SIMPSON,   SMOKYMOUNTAINSNATUREPHOTOS.COM    
  9. 9. ....
  10. 10. Source: Tennessee Valley Authority, Tellico Project Environmental Impact Statement, vol. I, 1972, 1– 49 (available on book’s website). (Both the General Accounting Office review [1977] and the God Committee review [1979] concluded that all figures in this ratio were inaccurate.)
  11. 11. PHOTO: COURTESY OF FRAN SCHEIDT
  12. 12. PHOTOS: JOEL SARTORE, FRAN SCHEIDT, TVA
  13. 13. hereafter. ction 4 of the Endan- Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. stablishes the following mining whether a spe- isted as an endangered or threatened destruc- or curtailment of its ion for commercial, c or educational pur- predation: quacy of existing regu- s; or al or manmade factors inued existence. with regard to the snail evidence suggests that (11 is pertinent. Major this condition include, ed to, the following: or threatened destruc- or curtailment of its . The snail darter Per- sp. is known only from vel shoals in the main pecies Range 4. The inadequacy of existing regula- tory mechanisms. Not applicable. 5. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Not applicable. For the reasons stated above, it is hereby determined that the snail darter (Percina Umostoma) sp.) is an en- dangered species within the meaning of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543). Accord.ingly, Part 17 of Chapter I, Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as set forth below, and will be effective on November 10, 1975. Dated: October 6, 1975. LYNN A. GREENWALT, Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. 1. Amend Section 17.11(i) by adding the following to the list of “Fishes,” after the entry for “Darter, Okaloosa; Etheos- toma, okaloosae” : § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. l l t l . (i) * l * basis since the has not been determined, there nublicatlon of its descriotion. and it has .~ never been classiiied as 2 new’ and distinct species. Title !50-Wildlife and Fisheries CHAPTER I-UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SUBCHAPTER. B-TAKING. POSSESSION. TRANSPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, BAR- TER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE PART 17-ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS Amendment Listing the Snail Darter as an Endangered Species Background. On January 20, 1973, JO- seph P. Congleton, Zygmunt J. B. Plater, and Hiram G. Hill, Jr., petitioned the Department of the Interior to list the snail darter (Percina Umostoma) sp.) from the Little Tennessee River, as an endangered species according to the ex- pedited emergency procedures of section 4(f) (2) (B) (ii) of the Endangered Spe- cies Act of 1973. This petition, and ac- companying supportive data, were ex- amined by the Fish and Wildlife Service which determined that suf3cient evi- dence existed to warrant a review of the status of these species. A notice to that effect was placed in the FEDERAL REGISTER on March 10, 1975 (40 FR 11618). Si- multaneously, the Governor of Tennessee was notified of the review, and w&s re- quested to supply data on the status of the species in his State. As a result of this review, the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service found that there are sufacient data to warrant a proposed rulemaking that the snail darter be listed as an endangered species. This proposed rulemaking was published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on June 17, 1975 (40 FR 25597). Interested persons were invited to submit written comments on the proposal to the Director no later than August 16, 1975. Summary of Comments. Sixteen com- ments were received. Portions relevant to the biological status of the snail darter are summarized as follows : 2. Clearly, no present threat exists to the snail darter which would justify shortcutting the customary scientific procedures. There has been no systematic or adequate study of the range of this Ash. There is. however, scientific opinion that the Ash undoubtedly exists elsewhere in the Tennessee River sys- tem, unaffected by the Tellico project. In light of this, the stabement in the notice that impoundment of Telllco “would result in total destruction of the snail darter’s habitat” is in error. 3. Listing the snail darter would not en- hance the likelihood that this Ash would sur- vive and therefore would not further the purposes of the Endangered Species Act. As a part of the Telllco project, TVA and others already are undertaking a scientifically recognized program to conserve the snail darter. 4. For the foregoing reasons, it is clear that the Endangered Species Act does not re- quire, nor indeed does it even permit, the Secretary’s proposed listing. In light of this we do not believe that the Msh and Wlld- life Service should inject itself into the long- standing controversy surrounding the wis- dom of the Tellico project. Tellico 1s a law- fully authorized federal project which has been under construction since March 1967. It has been repeatedly funded by Congress, over objections of opponents, and impound- ment is presently scheduled for January 1977. Its environmental consequences, including specifically its effect on undescribed species of darters which were thought to be rare and endangered. were fully described and considered In TVA’s Environmental Impact Statement for the project. The sufficiency of thst statement and the reasonableness of the TVA Boards decision to proceed after en- actment of the National Environmental Policy Act ha6 been litigated and upheld by both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequent to such litigation, Congress, with full knowl- edge of the project’s environmental impacts, has continued to aonrouriate monev for com- pletion. In light oi ‘this exhaustive” review of the project, including specificaily a COnSid- eration of its effect on possibly rare and en- dangered species of fish, no worthwhile pur- pose could possibly be served by listing the snail darter as “endangered” solely because “The proposed impoundment of water behind the proposed Tellico Dam would result in 12, 1975, cies, in no way suggested o provided additional evidence to warrant a proposed rulemaking. Subsequent to the proposed rulemaking, we received additional data in the form of an unpub- lished manuscript, in which the species was described, further substantiating the validity of the snail darter as a distinct species. The manuscript has been re- viewed and accepted by a panel of ich- thyologists at the Smithsonian Institu- tion, and approved by them for publica- tion in the Proceedi?rgs of the Biologicat Society in Washington. The expected publication date of the description of the snail darter is December 1975, or Janu- ary 1976. The Fish and Wildlife Service is pro- ceeding with the formal listing of the snail darter, Percina Umostoma) sp., as an endangered species because biological evidence indicates that it is a valid spe- cies in danger of extinction. The Service acknowledges the lack of a published for - ma1 description of the snail darter with the designation of a name-bearing holo- type at this time. The Service also recog- nizes the fact that the snail darter is a living entity which is genetically distinct and reproductively isolated from other fishes. Section 3 (11) of that Act states that “the term ‘species’ includes any Sub- species of fish or wildlife or plants and any other group of Ash or wildlife of the same species or smaller taxa in common spatial arrangement that interbreed when mature”. The weight of scientific opinion recognizes the snail darter as a distinct species. To delay its listing as endangered until the forrrmlities of a spe- cies description and its publication are completed would thwart the purpose of the Endangered Species Act. 2. More than 1,000 collections in re- cent years and additional earlier collec- tions from central and east Tennessee have not revealed the presence of the snail darter outside the Little Tennessee River. The TVA has conducted numerous fish population studies throughout the Tennessee River Basin since the 1930’s, and none of these studies apparently NO. 197-THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1975 s discussed hereafter. ussion, Section 4 of the Endan- Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. (a) (i) 1 establishes the following for determining whether a spe- hould be listed as an endangered s: The present or threatened destruc- modification, or curtailment of its or range; Overutilization for commercial, g, scientific or educational pur- ; Disease or predation: The inadequacy of existing regu- mechanisms; or Other natural or manmade factors ng its continued existence. cifically, with regard to the snail present evidence suggests that condition (11 is pertinent. Major affecting this condition include, re not limited to, the following: The present or threatened destruc- modification, or curtailment of its or range. The snail darter Per- Umostoma) sp. is known only from ns of gravel shoals in the main species Range 4. The inadequacy of existing regula- tory mechanisms. Not applicable. 5. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Not applicable. For the reasons stated above, it is hereby determined that the snail darter (Percina Umostoma) sp.) is an en- dangered species within the meaning of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543). Accord.ingly, Part 17 of Chapter I, Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as set forth below, and will be effective on November 10, 1975. Dated: October 6, 1975. LYNN A. GREENWALT, Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. 1. Amend Section 17.11(i) by adding the following to the list of “Fishes,” after the entry for “Darter, Okaloosa; Etheos- toma, okaloosae” : § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. l l t l . (i) * l *
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  15. 15. ....
  16. 16. PHOTO ROGER SIMPSON, SMOKYMOUNTAINSNATUREPHOTOS.COM
  17. 17. PHOTO ROGER SIMPSON, SMOKYMOUNTAINSNATUREPHOTOS.COM
  18. 18. JUSTICE POWELL: “Mr. Plater? May I interrupt you right here? Apart from the biological interest—which we do not challenge—what purpose is served, if any, by these little darters? Are they used for food? …are they suitable for bait? I’m a bass fisherman.”
  19. 19. JUSTICE POWELL: “Mr. Plater? May I interrupt you right here? Apart from the biological interest—which we do not challenge—what purpose is served, if any, by these little darters? Are they used for food? …are they suitable for bait? I’m a bass fisherman.”
  20. 20. TVA v. Hill, et al.,  437 U.S. 153    — We have no expert knowledge on the subject of endangered species, much less do we have a mandate from the people to strike a balance of equities on the side of Tellico Dam. Congress has spoken in the plainest of words, making it abundantly clear that the balance has been struck in favor of...endangered species... thereby adopting a policy which it described as “institutionalized caution.”
  21. 21. The God Committee (The Endangered Species Committee, 16 U.S.C. §1536(h), created by the ESA Amendments of 1978, is a Cabinet-level review board comprised of the Secretaries of Army, Agriculture, Interior, and Transportation, the Administrators of EPA and NOAA, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors,   and a state representative…. 16 U.S.C. §1536(h) — Section 7 (h) ...The Committee shall grant an exemption...if, by a vote of not less than five of its [seven] members voting in person —   (A) it determines on the record [after a full hearing] that —   (i) there are no reasonable and prudent alternatives to the agency action; (ii) the benefits of such action clearly outweigh the benefits of alternative courses of action consistent with conserving the species or its critical habitat, and such action is in the public interest; (iii) the action is of regional or national significance; and (B) it establishes...reasonable mitigation and enhancement measures, including, but not limited to, live propagation, transplantation, and habitat acquisition and improvement....
  22. 22. f   –––    
  23. 23. —Geo. Schultze (Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisors), in God Committee deliberations: January 23, 1979: “Here is a project that is 95% complete, and if one takes just the cost of finishing it, against the total project benefits, and does it properly, it still doesn’t pay, …which says something about the original design!” [laughter] the “God  Commi(ee” — the Cabinet-level Endangered Species Committee created by the 1978 Endangered Species Act Amendments
  24. 24. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF FRAN SCHEIDT
  25. 25. PHOTOS  -­‐-­‐    ROGER  SIMPSON,  SMOKYMOUNTAINSNATUREPHOTOS.COM  
  26. 26.            Transplant,  on  life  support…       River  bubble-­‐aeraDon  oxygen  required    each  summer  for  snail  darter  life  support.    
  27. 27. “A popular government, without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy…. and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison .
  28. 28. *American Farm Bureau Federation Washington, D.C. American Forest and Paper Association Washington, D.C. *American Petroleum Institute Washington, D.C. *American Public Power Association Washington, D.C. *America’s Natural Gas Alliance Washington, D.C. *Association of California Water Agencies Sacramento, California Coalition of Counties for Stable Econ. Growth Glenwood, New Mexico *Colorado River Energy Distributors Assoc. Tempe, Arizona Colorado River Water Conservation District Glenwood Springs, Colorado Colorado Rural Electric Association Denver, Colorado *CropLife America Washington, D.C. *Edison Electric Institute Washington, D.C. Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Carrington, North Dakota … Idaho Mining Association Boise, Idaho *Independent Petroleum Assoc. of America Washington, D.C. National Association of Conservation Districts Washington, D.C. *National Association of Counties Washington, D.C. *National Association of Home Builders Washington, D.C. National Grange Washington, DC *National Mining Association Washington, D.C. *National Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc. Washington, D.C. *National Water Resources Association Arlington, Virginia Public Lands Council Washington, D.C. Southwestern Power Resources Association Tulsa, Oklahoma Washington State Potato Commission Moses Lake, Washington Western Energy Alliance Denver, Colorado Western Business Roundtable, Colorado … NESARC  —  The  Nat’l  Endangered  Species  Act  Reform  CoaliDon    http://www.nesarc.org      
  29. 29.     •     
  30. 30.                        
  31. 31. “The inside story, laid out with wonderful lucidity, of a long and fascinating battle that became an icon of its era and remains instructive today. It’s a blueprint for community action and, sadly, a still-current roadmap of the way in which Washington works.” • Jonathan Harr, author: A CIVIL ACTION “Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill is one of my favorite cases. This eminently readable account of the full history of the case is even more interesting than the story told in Warren Burger’s opinion for the Court (or in my memory of the oral argument and the shifting positions of the Justices in my book FIVE CHIEFS), especially the account of how President Carter rejected the ‘God Committee’s’ darter verdict.” • Hon. Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States (ret’d.) “THE SNAIL DARTER & THE DAM is an inspiring and informative American story of regular people fighting powerful special interests, about how the public interest lost out to big money and its political allies—and of failures by the local and national press to report the story fairly, accurately, and in proper context.” • Dan Rather, Anchor &Managing Editor, AXS.TV, former reporter and 24-year Anchor, CBS News “The story of the snail darter and the TVA is the Thermopylae in the history of America's conservation movement, and this book by Zygmunt Plater deserves to be the classic telling of it.” • E. O. Wilson. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, #Museum of Comparative Zoology, Organismic & E Evolutionary Biology Dept., Harvard University Yale University Press — www.bc.edu/snaildarter
  32. 32.                         One   final   paragraph   of   advice:   do   not   burn   yourselves   out.   Be   as   I   am   -­‐-­‐   a   reluctant   enthusiast,  a  part-­‐9me  crusader,  a  half-­‐hearted  fana9c.  Save  the  other  half  of  yourselves   and  your  lives  for  pleasure  and  adventure.  It  is  not  enough  to  fight  for  the  land;  it  is  even   more  important  to  enjoy  it.  While  you  can.  While  it’s  s9ll  here.  So  get  out  there  and  hunt   and  fish  and  mess  around  with  your  friends,  ramble  out  yonder  and  explore  the  forests,   climb  the  mountains,  bag  the  peaks,  run  the  rivers,  breathe  deep  of  that  yet  sweet  and   lucid   air,   sit   quietly   for   a   while   and   contemplate   the   precious   s9llness,   the   lovely,   mysterious,  and  awesome  space.  Enjoy  yourselves,  keep  your  brain  in  your  head  and  your   head  firmly  a@ached  to  the  body,  the  body  ac9ve  and  alive,  and  I  promise  you  this  much:  I   promise  you  this  one  sweet  victory  over  our  enemies,  over  those  desk-­‐bound  men  and   women   with   their   hearts   in   a   safe   deposit   box,   and   their   eyes   hypno9zed   by   desk   calculators.  I  promise  you  this:    you  will  outlive  the  bastards.                                                                            -­‐-­‐  Edward  Abbey  
  33. 33. ‘ iron triangle’
  34. 34. §7 Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 USC §1536…! ! §7. Interagency cooperation The [Interior] Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. All other Federal departments and agencies shall in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter while carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered species and threatened species listed pursuant to section 1533 of this title and by taking such action necessary to insure that actions authorized, funded, or carried out by them do not jeopardize the continued existence of such endangered species and threatened species or result in the destruction or modification of habitat of such species which is determined by the Secretary, after consultation as appropriate with the affected States, to be critical.!
  35. 35. §7 Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 USC §1536…! ! §7. Interagency cooperation The [Interior] Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. All other Federal departments and agencies shall in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter while carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered species and threatened species listed pursuant to section 1533 of this title and by taking such action necessary to (1) insure that actions authorized, funded, or carried out by them do not jeopardize the continued existence of such endangered species and threatened species or (2) result in the destruction or modification of habitat of such species which is determined by the Secretary, after consultation as appropriate with the affected States, to be critical.!

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