Home > newsroom > Page
Chairman Hastings Prepares to Issue Subpoena on White Bluffs Bladderpod Listing Decision


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2014 - Today, at a House Natural Resources Full Committee oversight hearing, Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) pressed U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Service Director Dan Ashe on the Department’s non-compliance with the Committee’s request for documents regarding the process and science surrounding the FWS’ decision to list the White Bluffs bladderpod as a threatened species. A letter was sent to the FWS on March 7th seeking specific documents and information to be provided by March 21st. Due to a complete lack of response to his request, Chairman Hastings announced that he is prepared to issue a subpoena for this information if the Department does not comply by April 2nd.

“Committee staff confirmed that the letter was received, but the deadline has passed and we have not yet received any response and none of the information. I would have expected the information by now, given that it relates to a closed rulemaking process and is seeking information about the science used to make the decision. We’re not seeking state secrets here. As the hearing today demonstrated, the Department as a whole does not seem to be taking the Committee’s voluntary requests very seriously. If we do not receive a response and the requested information about the bladderpod listing, I am prepared to subpoena it,” said Chairman Hastings.

Background

Amidst serious unanswered questions about the evidence it used, on December 19, 2013 the FWS announced the final listing of the White Bluffs bladderpod in Washington state as a threatened species under the ESA. This was part of the 2011 closed-door mega-settlement between the FWS and the Center for Biological Diversity, which established arbitrary deadlines for literally hundreds of listing decisions, including the bladderpod. The FWS moved forward with the listing despite the fact that contradictory scientific DNA evidence showed a 100 percent match with bladderpod plants found abundantly in multiple states. This raised several specific concerns with the listing decision, including the FWS’ basis for classifying the White Bluffs bladderpod as a separate subspecies, the FWS’ questionable and inadequate process for notifying affected local landowners and citizens of the listing proposal, and the FWS’ peer review of DNA data contradicting the listing.

###
Printable PDF of this document

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Panel Decries Natural Resources Laws Led Astray, Outlines Local Consequences of Executive Overreach

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held the first of a series of oversight hearings to examine the impacts of federal natural resources laws gone astray. The panel focused on thre...... Read more

Op-Ed: "Time to Modernize the Antiquity Act"

NOTE: “Consider how far the Antiquities Act has strayed from its original intent: The act states that monument designations should be limited to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and mana...... Read more

Community Reclamation Partnerships Act Draws Bipartisan Support

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on the “Community Reclamation Partnerships Act” (Rep. Darin LaHood, R-IL), discussion draft legislation to authorize ...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

No upcoming scheduled events

View All Events