Here is another example of playing the numbers game with the regions fish. It seems like they like to play the lottery with them. Is the science being influenced by politics?
Here's one way to look at it: Would you rather have the Federal Government or local agencies managing the fisheries? Listing a species removes state and local control, and puts the Feds in charge. Maybe it's just me, but I'll put my trust in the Montana, Idaho and Wyoming fisheries experts on this one.
BTW, this has nothing to do with the Yellowstone National Park fisheries, which are already under the management of US Fish and Wildlife Service. IMO they're taking the cutthroat's decline in the upper Yellowstone drainage very seriously.
The thinking that local agencies would do a better job managing anything without the oversight of the Feds is flawed. The ESA is the single most important and powerful piece of environmental or conservation oriented legislation ever -- it's a good thing. The same justification was given for not listing Sage Grouse, and that's the reason truly endangered species like prairie dogs will never be listed... The locals still do the management, they just face oversight so local hunting/ranching, etc. interests don't put undo pressure on MTFWP, et al. Having worked for the state of Montana before, I know my thinking goes against the paradigm, but that's the way I see it.
Who the heck is the Montana Ecosystems Defense Council? It's not like they're quoting Montana TU, FFF, Whirling Disease Foundation, Montana Trout Foundation, etc. When MSNBC quotes an opposition source like that I can never tell if it's an over the top environmental group or a responsible organization.
When the vice president got wind of a petition to list the cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park as a protected species, his office turned to one of his former congressional aides.
The aide, Paul Hoffman, landed his job as deputy assistant interior secretary for fish and wildlife after Cheney recommended him. In an interview, Hoffman said the vice president knew that listing the cutthroat trout would harm the recreational fishing industry in his home state of Wyoming and that he "followed the issue closely." In 2001 and again in 2006, Hoffman's agency declined to list the trout as threatened.