Thanks Uncle Sam

Chris J. Durden drdn at
Fri Jan 4 00:44:26 EST 2002

This does not sound like faking. It sounds like testing and lab evaluation, 
which is sorely needed when the foxes guard the henhouse.
The response sounds like news-mongering and political scapegoating which 
makes me sick!
...................Chris Durden

At 02:51 PM 1/3/2002 -0500, you wrote:
><!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
>This appeared in the Washington Times and made me think, Gee if we can't 
>our government then who can we trust. I am sure the USDA would never pull 
>a fast
>like this one on butterfly people. Just thought that you would like to see 
>your tax
>dollars at work behind your backs. If they did it with the Lynx why not 
>R. Mikula
>Scrutiny on lynx fraud grows
>By Audrey Hudson
>      Federal agencies are teaming up for a joint investigation to 
> determine why government
>employees planted evidence of a threatened species in national forests.
>      The fraudulent samples of lynx hair were submitted by five federal 
> and two Washington
>state employees for laboratory analysis. One of the workers notified his 
>supervisor of the
>false sampling, and the Forest Service investigated and disciplined the 
>employees. Two
>other federal employees who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
>also were
>disciplined.   Multiagency investigations were called for by congressional 
>leaders and Bush administration officials after the falsified samplings 
>were reported by The Washington Times.
>      The Interior and Agriculture departments' inspectors general are 
> combining their efforts
>with the General Accounting Office for an "expedited" investigation into 
>the matter, a Bush administration official said. The GAO inquiry is being 
>conducted by its office of special
>investigations, which examines suspected criminal wrongdoing. "This goes 
>to the fundamental
>principle of the Endangered Species Act and the credibility of the 
>program. That's not lost on
>anybody," the administration official said.
>     "It's logical to assume if the biologists did it in the case of the 
> lynx, they could do the
>same withother endangered species," the official said.  The scientists 
>were participating in
>a three-year survey to determine lynx habitat in 16 states and 57 national 
>forests and say they
>submitted the false samples in two Washington national forests to test 
>laboratory accuracy.
>      Administration officials say the fake samples were not added to the 
> overall study and
>have not tainted the survey. However, critics of the actions say it has 
>crippled the credibility
>of future studies involving endangered species.  "This lynx debacle calls 
>into question
>everything the Fish and Wildlife Service has done for the past eight 
>years," said
>Rep. James V. Hansen, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Resources 
>  "It makes me wonder if past studies have been marred by sloppy or faulty 
> research,"
>Mr. Hansen said.     Mr. Hansen, along with Rep. Scott McInnis, Colorado 
>and chairman of the forests and forest health subcommittee, requested the 
>The scope is expected to include whether criminal charges can be brought 
>against the
>employees, whom officials refuse to name, citing privacy issues.
>      "For eight years, Republicans have been saying that the federal 
> protection of endangered
>and threatened species requires the use of solid, proven science that can 
>stand up to the
>scrutiny of peer review by the scientific community. This incident tells 
>you why. We came
>very close to impacting the economy of an entire region because of a 
>handful of dishonest
>people. The use of sound science and peer review could have prevented this 
>whole problem,
>" Mr. Hansen said.
>   The ramifications of the employees' actions are significant in that it 
> could have led to the
>implementation of strict land-use regulations, said Rob Rivett, a lawyer 
>for the Pacific Legal
>Foundation, an organization dedicated to Endangered Species Act reform. 
>"It causes real
>concerns among folks like us who are constantly battling what we consider 
>to be junk science supporting government decisions," Mr. Rivett said.
>   The foundation has a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the 
> listing of the
>fairy shrimp as endangered in California. Mr. Rivett said their case 
>contends that the study
>used by the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the creature as threatened 
>with extinction was
>"chock-full of errors."       There has been a lingering concern that 
>endangered species have
>been exploited to raise funds and advance political agendas, said Rob 
>Gordon, director of the
>National Wilderness Institute.    "What is more disturbing, however, is to 
>find that
>government scientists are faking studies to justify political goals," Mr. 
>Gordon said.


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