Last week, the environment took yet another hit from President Donald Trump and his administration. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the rusty patched bumble bee would not start receiving federal protection on Friday, as previously scheduled. Environmentalists are alarmed by the move, arguing that the species is too vulnerable to abandon.
Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said this about the decision:
“The Trump administration has put the rusty patched bumble bee back on the path to extinction. This bee is one of the most critically endangered species in the country and we can save it — but not if the White House stands in the way.”
Xerces Society also weighed in, telling NBC News:
“Delays to protecting this already vulnerable pollinator may prove catastrophic.”
Bees are a very important part of earth’s ecosystems, so it’s no surprise that this move is causing concern. They are essential for pollinating plants that feed a variety of species, including humans. While bees have been threatened for a while, the rusty patch bumble bee is the first bee species to officially be labeled as endangered in the United States.
Check out this video about why this and other bee species are so important:
The delay of protective measures for the species is due to a memo signed by Trump on January 20. It states that all federal agencies must postpone for 60 days any regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but have not yet taken effect. This is just one of Trump’s many efforts to undermine the progress of the Obama Administration when it comes to environmental protection.
Federal protection for the rusty patched bumble bee still may go into effect in late March. Activists hope that it won’t be too late.
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