FWS Seeks “Categorical Exclusion” to Expedite Injurious Listing

FWS Seeks Catagorical Exclusion for Injurious Wildlife
FWS Seeks Categorical Exclusion for Injurious Wildlife Listing

US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a notice on July 1, 2013 of a proposal to add a “categorical exclusion” under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the action of listing a species as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act entitled:  National Environmental Policy Act:  Implementing Procedures; Addition to Categorical Exclusions for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

FWS Summary: This notice announces a proposed categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The proposed categorical exclusion pertains to adding species to the injurious wildlife list under the Lacey Act. FWS states that the addition of this categorical exclusion to the Department of the Interior’s Departmental Manual will improve conservation activities by making the NEPA process for listing injurious species more efficient.

US Herpetoculture Alliance: Our legal counsel is currently doing a thorough analysis of the proposed “categorical exclusion”, but we believe that this is an attempt to circumvent due process in order to more easily list reptiles, amphibians and other animals as “injurious species” under the Lacey Act.

US Herpetoculture Alliance The Future of Herpetoculture
US Herpetoculture Alliance
The Future of Herpetoculture

In recent years FWS has shown a clear bias toward avoiding due process in order to reach politically motivated goals. In this “brave new world” where FWS seems to manufacture “science” to support predetermined policy goals, the US Herpetoculture Alliance sees this move as a further corruption of the process to avoid assessing potential impacts on herpetoculture as a legitimate agricultural vocation.

This is a particularly disturbing development in light of the fact that FWS has made it clear that they hope to add more herpetofauna to the injurious list. As it stands the future of five constricting snakes and ALL amphibians stand in the balance. Prior to the 2012 rule making that added Burmese pythons, northern African pythons, southern African pythons and yellow anacondas there was no precedent for adding animals widely held by the American public. The fact that hundreds of thousands of animals are already being publicly held across the country negates the fundamental effectiveness of the Lacey Act to limit proliferation.

The Lacey Act’s stated policy intent was to stop the import of injurious species, and further stop proliferation across state lines. This function is rendered ineffectual once animals are widely held by the public. The Lacey Act is a monumental failure as a tool to control invasive species. It’s track record speaks for itself. The Lacey Act has NEVER been successful as a tool to stop the introduction of invasive species, nor erradicate them once they have been established. The US Herpetoculture Alliance believes alternatives to the Lacey Act are critical to the fair treatment of herpetofauna already well established in captivity.

The notice opens a 30-day public comment period ending on July 31 (please see Federal Register for instructions on submitting comments)

Here is the link:to the Federal Register document: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-01/pdf/2013-15707.pdf

Please stay tuned to the US Herpetoculture Alliance UPDATES for in depth analysis of this issue COMING SOON! The Herp Alliance is proud to keep the herpetoculture community informed and empowered as the premier herpetoculture advocate. Herp Alliance is the Future of Herpetoculture!

5 thoughts on “FWS Seeks “Categorical Exclusion” to Expedite Injurious Listing”

  1. Personally , as a father / chef /snake reptile hobbiest and a dedicated to reptile preservation .I feel that these laws do nothing to stop endangered species from being extinct . The american herpacultural community is well educated , very proactive and dedicated ,too keeping these animals off those list. preserving natures animal reptilia, as well as all animal wild life .this includes foreign and domestic species .we have respect for those around us even the ones that don’t share our passion for reptiles in captivity . These laws need to be written with consciousness and aaccountability by our legislation not by radicalist or govermemtalist out to ruin decades of hard work and research. Yes this is a hobby, for some a bussines with minimuim profit return. we are just people doing what we like ,along the way ! we are preseving animals that are loosing their natural habbitat . Please consider my words not as a person against the rules and laws that are in place for all americans . I only ask and hope!! that we can all come to a respectable agreement , that is not one sided and blocked or black walled by our goverment or whoever is representation for these groups that want to pass such ridiculous laws . These animals are not dangerous their in danger and need to be protected by us…look at the loss of the african black rhino and the white rhino is following close behind.
    ask your self who and what is next to be on the endangered species list . How many other animals are we going to do this too ?
    We need to work together.

    Thank you jeff bermudez
    Father/ chef/ reptile /snake hobbiest and preserver

    1. Jeff, words well spoken and with such clarity to our point. Havi g been a fellow herpticulturalist for 40 yrs , I have watched the interest and hobby being politicized by all of the interests that you mention. I have been a member of several Herp clubs over the years . What I am witnessing these days in the restrictive and punative nature of current legislation, has driven me to keep my hobby out of site and off the gov. radar so to speak. I will follow your blogs and participate where I feel safe doing so. Again thank you .. Yours, Raymond

  2. As a small business owner of a reptile shop, I have seen a decline in sales for some of the larger species of snakes. If the other constrictors are added to the Lacey list, I might as well close the doors. That means that the 5 employees Icurrently have, will not have a job, and it will domino to the manufacturers that supply all the tanks, lights food, etc.The media has made such a spectacle of the Burmese python that there are inexperienced individuals out in the Everglades hunting them and creating a worse problem. What kind of rare animals are they destroying as they tromp through the Everglades? “I find it endlessly amusing how normally intelligent, rational people can lose any semblance of logic at the sheer mention of the word “snake”. Anyone that knows snake behavior will be able to deduce that the threat to our native wildlife, be it birds, mammals or whatever, is nowhere near the damage caused by domestic cats! The python “problem” will remain restricted to the lower part of Florida due to the python’s inability to survive in colder climates. Cats on the other hand, are and will probably always be a national (and international) problem. Feral cat numbers in the U.S. have been estimated at 60 to 100 MILLION animals. Cats kill constantly whether they are hungry or not. The numbers of birds, small mammals and reptiles killed by cats annually in the U.S. alone is easily in the billions. So why not have a televised and highly media publicized “Cat Hunt”? How do you think that would go over? (I am not a cat hater, by the way. I have one, but it stays indoors where it belongs).
    I apologize for the long-windedness of this letter. Those of us that ARE educated in natural history are just getting fed up with the misinformation being spread by the media and FWS. Most people believe what you guys write! You have a moral and ethical responsibility to present information that is accurate. I don’t think that you are intentionally spreading misinformation, but adding fuel to the fire of the ridiculous mass hysteria revolving around this issue is irresponsible and totally unproductive. I too, spend a lot of time attempting to undo the damage done by the uninformed and apparently uncaring media.” I am asking that you don’t add any more animals to the Lacey Act without proper study. It certainly will desolve my family business and my income .

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