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"License to Kill" A Seattle P-I Special Report

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Seattle P-I, May 3-5, 2005; An extrodinary three part series that lays out in impressive detail the controversies over habitat conservation plans.

Seattle P-I

May 3-5, 2005

This project was led by P-I environment reporters Robert McClure and Lisa Stiffler,who reviewed more than 10,000 pages of documents and conducted hundreds of interviews involving sensitive lands in Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, Arizona, Texas, Alabama and Florida.

The federal government is handing out licenses to kill endangered species. Hundreds of exemptions to the Endangered Species Act have been issued nationwide since the mid-1990s, covering some of the nation's most sensitive lands.

The deals being cut are perfectly legal. Many last for decades. And they are helping push creatures to the brink of extinction, conservation biologists and other critics say.

Click here for a complete lising of articles included in the the three part series

PART ONE

Flaws in habitat conservation plans threaten scores of species
Many of the nation's habitat plans have serious shortcomings that tip the scales in favor of development and logging over endangered species. And Washington state is about to become the epicenter of this trend.

Pioneer conservation plan falls short
Nation’s first habitat plan in trouble.

State could log trees it previously fought to preserve
Online exclusive: Habitat plan permits logging previously off limits.

Views On Habitat Plans
Quotes from ordinary people involved in the plans.

PART TWO

Too often, inadequate science hampers habitat planning
Habitat plans cover endangered species from crayfish scuttling around Nashville creeks to fringe-toed lizards in sweltering California dunes. But they're on shaky scientific footing and poorly tracked.

Idle preserves turn to eyesores
Money for promised preserves in short supply.

Online exclusive: Bull trout runs threatened
Online exclusive: Hot debate over keeping Montana streams cool.

PART THREE

Scientists fault state habitat plan
Scientists have attacked a 50-year habitat conservation plan that will rule logging on 9.1 million acres across Washington -- the bulk of private forestland. The public can still weigh in on the proposed fish protection deal.

Best-laid plans can't foresee all
Disappearing owls threaten a Washington plan's success.

Big thinking is required to overhaul habitat program
Overhaul of habitat program needed, experts say.