Precautionary Principle: vs courts---- Protect Sand Mountain blue butterfly in Nevada
neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Sat Jan 7 12:47:14 EST 2006
On Sat, 2006-01-07 at 16:06, Michael Gochfeld wrote:
> Stan Gorodenski wrote:
> > Neil Jones wrote:
> >> On Fri, 2006-01-06 at 21:35, Mike Leski wrote:
> >>> Yea, this is a sticky one. Last year I was in Reno, and trying to
> >>> identify leps that I might pursue come the summer season. This blue
> >>> got my attention. I researched the internet, be that as it may, and
> >>> found that the good ol' boys had identified a number of sites where
> >>> they thought the lep could fly, based on host plant records. I had
> >>> planned to visit one or two, but fortunately spent the summer in far
> >>> better lep territory.
> >>> Now, I have no idea who is right, concerning the need to restrict this
> >>> spot from 4-wheelers. However, the part I didn't like from the story
> >>> Mike forwarded was the 'found nowhere else' comment about the host.
> >>> Is this true? I kind of doubt it. Is it true of the butterfly???
> >>> Mike
> >> It very likely is true. The buckwheat plants which this group of blue
> >> butterflies utilise as foodplants are very variable and have evolved
> >> into many many different forms. It would seem that many of these forms
> >> have their own unique butterfly that is specialised to feed on them. One
> >> example I am very familiar with is the El Segundo Blue which utilises a
> >> very localised buckwheat which only grows in and around the Los Angeles
> >> airport (The largest of the only 3 colonies occurs in the airport
> >> grounds.) This creature is dependent on its buckwheat also as a nectar
> >> source, and the buckwheat used by its nearest relative just a few miles
> >> away is poisonous to its larvae. The remnant area of habitat here is
> >> also known as a source for other endemics.
> >> One of the features of certain kinds of habitats is that local
> >> conditions can lead to hotspots of endemism. Where a particular area
> >> supports insects and plants which are found nowhere else on earth.
> >> It would seem that this is also the case with the Sand Mountain area.
> >> There no fewer than 16 endemics recorded from the locality.
> >> Of course it is always possible that the blue occurs elsewhere, although
> >> given the ecology and taxonomy of the group it is unlikely. However,
> >> this is what the lawsuit is all about. A group of conservation bodies
> >> petitioned for the species to be listed.
> >> The government then should have investigated the matter, they could then
> >> then have surveyed and located other populations.
> >> They didn't do this, as they law says they should. The result is that a
> >> coalition of organisations is taking them to court to force them to obey
> >> the law.
> > Interesting. I guess this is the other side to the other side of the
> > story Paul found in his search of off highway vehicle web sites.
> > Stan
> >> At the end of this process we should know whether it is reasonable to
> >> restrict Off Road Vehicles from the area, but without doing the research
> >> which these good citizens groups are trying to force the government to
> >> do we will not know.
> >> I hope that all the decent lepidopterists on this list will agree with
> >> me that we don't want to see one of these lovely creatures driven into
> >> extinction by the needless destruction of their habitat.
> >> Neil Jones
> >> Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.butterflyguy.com/
> >> This is, of course, a perfect example of where the precautionary
> >> principle should be invoked.
> In the absence of certainty, and while the necessary research is being
> conducted, the vehicle use should be restricted. It is always possible
> to open the area to use IF research shows that the butterfly is NOT
> restricted to the habitat (the Administration has already done this
> elsewhere), but if it is restricted, then protection is needed. now.
> The precautionary principle is specifically designed to guide policy
> when there is a likelihood of harm and when there is uncertainty.
> Ban now then do the research then re-evaluate.
> Mike Gochfeld
> Piscataway, NJ 08854
> gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu
Of course. It has always struck me that this is similar to the principle
of the Hippocratic Oath "First do no harm".
The approach taken by the conservation organisations asking for
emergency listing is the correct one in the circumstances.
Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.butterflyguy.com/
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