usfws regulation question

Mark Walker mwalker at
Tue Nov 18 17:11:32 EST 1997

Gee, I feel like I've been asleep in the Catskills for a hundred years.  Thanks
for waking me up, Doug.

Speaking of Doug, he replied:

>         This is the most frustrating aspect of this whole business, really
> - that there is such a discrepancy between the letter of the law and how it
> is enforced. After all, there clearly is now and always has been a lot of
> traffic which is in technical violation of the rules (how many people here
> besides me and Ken Philip have ever seen form 3-177 and filed it?), but NOT
> in violation of "internal policy". What it comes down to then is that
> people are in the habit of ignoring the rules, and no one at USFWS really
> cares, but all it takes is that one time where a USFWS agent gets wind of
> something and decides to *apply* the rules to get everyone in an uproar
> again. When they play a "selective enforcement" game, it makes every
> *actual* enforcement action they take seem like a personal vendetta.
> Basically, the rules seem to exist solely to give the USFWS a legal leg to
> stand on when they really need to haul someone into court.

I agree with this, but there are at least two ways to look at it.  One way is
to consider the lack of enforcement as an alarm that not enough is being done
to protect the environment.  The other way is to consider the lack of
enforcement as an indication that there is too much bureaucracy and too many
ridiculous rules in place.  I suspect that the truth is somewhere in between. 
Any traffic which does not violate the _spirit_ of the law should not be
prosecuted.  Meanwhile, there still aren't enough USFWS personnel to properly
filter the chaff from the wheat.

And, as usual, the few who are grossly exploiting the situation are ruining it
for everyone else.

Mark Walker.

More information about the Leps-l mailing list