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E-M:/ Sierra Club requests delay in Endangered Species List decisi



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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In a letter delivered to DNR Director K.L. Cool yesterday, the Sierra Club has
requested the Director to delay until after the July Natural Resources
Commission meeting any decision on the proposed update for the Michigan
Endangered Species List. The decision was listed on the Natural Resources
Commission agenda with an indication the Director Cool could make the decision
anytime after conclusion of the NRC meeting of June 10th and 11th.  Following
the Director's decision, the list will proceed through rulemaking steps,
including action by the Legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
The rulemaking is already five years late, being mandated in the law to occur
every two years, but having last been done in 1991

The request by Sierra Club for the decision to be pushed back another
month followed delays in attempts by the Sierra Club to review materials
relating to the recommendations and to obtain responses from the DNR regarding
comments made by the general public during hearings held in April.  A Freedom
of Information request related to the Endangered Species listing was submitted
May 15 and supplemented May 20, but the Sierra Club representatives were able
to view only a portion of the files by June 9th.  In addition, responses to
public comments prepared by DNR staff to accompany the presentation to the NRC
were first available for public review on June 10th, the day of the NRC
presentation.

The Sierra Club has been harshly critical of the five year delay in updating
the list, but is now calling for the one month delay based on the initial
findings in their review of files and the responses provided by the DNR to
public comments. The organization's letter to Director Cool points out the
impossibility of the public having any substantive input into the final
listing decision when there has in practical terms no opportunity to review
the staff's actual recommendations to the Director, and that valiant attempts
to review files had been delayed to the point of undermining any opportunity
to independently review the criteria applied.

For more information about this topic contact Anne Woiwode, Sierra Club, (517)
484-2372



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