The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is an executive branch agency that has been extremely active over the last two years adding new species to the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This new flurry of activity is largely a result of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreeing to a legal settlement to take action on a backlog of 251 species petitions with environmental groups that have sued the Service in order to have the species listed.
Anyone who lives in the a designated habitat of a threatened or endangered species knows that private property rights and individual liberty are the biggest casualties of the sweeping rules that are put in place by this agency. Indeed, this federal agency of unelected bureaucrats possesses significant political power to implement rules that can have profound effects.
Since agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service possess rule-making authority that is essentially equal to the legislative power enjoyed by Congress, it seems that there should also be a firewall between such agencies and the non-profit organizations that spend years forcing the taxpayers to fund expensive lawsuits, which then result in these destructive rules. Instead our executive branch agencies create faux holidays and use them as an excuse to help these organizations expand their advocacy effort, build their credibility with a federal government endorsement, and raise obscene amounts of money that are then used to sue the agency some more.
Now, the Fish and Wildlife Service isn’t the only agency that is participating in this corruption. Just last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors today announced the winners of their first annual Veterans Day Essay and Photo Contest. The Sierra Club is a political advocacy organization that has significant vested interests before the BLM. Every land management plan, travel management plan, and resource management plan that is implemented by the BLM, is thoroughly vetted by groups like the Sierra Club – usually in the form of expensive litigation. Usually the result is restrictive land use policies and the limitation of Americans’ abilities to enjoy the abundant natural resources of our land.
If an elected official were to engage in this level of brazen pandering to special interest groups, it would be a violation of their ethics rules. If unelected bureaucrats engage in this pandering, it is business as usual, with no consequences other than the continual lining of the pockets of special interest groups that are in many ways hostile to the economic well-being and liberty of the American people.