PORTLAND – The Obama administration won’t defend the Bush administration’s cuts to habitat protections for the threatened bull trout, whose need for cold, clean water can stand in the way of logging and mining on national forests.
Conservation groups had sued to overturn the Bush administration’s decision to cut critical habitat for the bull trout by about three-quarters in the Columbia and Klamath basins.
Last week lawyers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed a motion saying they will take a new look at the fish’s habitat needs.
They cited a Department of Interior inspector general’s report finding Bush administration official Julie MacDonald and others exerted undue political influence over scientific decisions in 13 endangered species cases, including the bull trout.