Johnston’s frankenia

This ‘Endangered Species’ Story Was Government-Sponsored Fake News

By —— Bio and Archives--August 30, 2017

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Rob Gordon is a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and has researched, testified, and written on endangered species, property rights, the federal estate, and other environmental issues. He previously served as staff director for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Leave it to the federal government to make a costly mistake, obscure it for decades at taxpayer expense, and then try to claim it was a success.

In 2016, Johnston’s frankenia—a wiry, blue-green, roughly 1 to 2-foot-tall shrub with tiny oblong leaves—was taken off the endangered species list. The Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species database reports the happy plant was “delisted” because it had recovered.

It seems strange that such good news did not get much attention, and that the Fish and Wildlife Service only put out a press release in the southwestern U.S.

The reason it was not more publicized is probably because the whole thing is a farce. The species did not recover—it never was endangered in the first place.

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When the Fish and Wildlife Service added this plant to the endangered species list in 1984, the agency reported it could only find about 1,000 of them in a few southern Texas counties, and that there was concern about “grazing pressure” on the hapless plant.—More…

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