It is example #467 of Bush Administration officials interfering with the established procedures of science research in the arena of environmental regulation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service reversed itself on seven rulings that involved endangered species such as the White Tailed Prairie Dog and the Canada Lynx. Apparently one of their officials improperly injected herself into the process of analyzing the science.
The offending official was one Julie McDonald, a former Civil Engineer who served as a deputy assistant secretary. McDonald resigned in May 2007, after the Inspector General of the Fish and Wildlife Service ruled that she had improperly pressured wildlife scientists to leave several species off the endangered species list. McDonald also improperly leaked information to persons in private industry regarding the effort to list the species. McDonald was also heavily involved in a personal mission to "de-list" the Sacramento splittail, a small fish found only in the California central valley. McDonald happened to own an 80 acre farm located in the habitat of the fish, apparently desiring to avoid any interference in how she runs her farm.
Environmentalists scoff at the notion that McDonald's tampering was an isolated event in Bush administration wildlife policies. Another example of tampering is the rewriting of climate change research from James Hansen, the well known NASA atmospheric scientist. Speaking of climate change, it is noteworthy that the polar bear, widely believed by wildlife biologists to be in great danger due to the melting of arctic ice from global warming, has been accorded only lip service concern from Fish and Wildlife. Where is the effort to do something about climate change, if the cause of the melting is so obvious, along with the eventual result for this coca cola icon?