On July 1, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order that created a clear path to increase U.S. efforts to stop poaching and wildlife trafficking. In the missive, Obama cited environmental and health concerns resulting from what he called "an international crisis". The president wrote, in part, that:
Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates.
The Examiner and other members of the press were invited to attend a session at the White House Mon. where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea spoke on behalf of a new task force. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell named members of the advisory council on wildlife trafficking.
The Fish & Wildlife Service issued a press release stating that:
During the White House Forum to Combat Wildlife Trafficking, Jewell also announced Service plans to crush and destroy elephant ivory seized by special agents and wildlife inspectors for violations of U.S. wildlife laws. In the coming months, the Service will propose changes to regulations and policies, especially with regard to elephants and rhinos, to facilitate law enforcement actions and close loopholes that could be expoited for wildlife trafficking.
Besides poaching, other wildlife and marine issues remain a grave concern for the FWS and concerned citizens following the Gulf oil spill . Thousands of Kemp's ridley sea turtles, dolphins, herons and gulls have perished in the years following the Apr. 20, 2010 disaster.
So when the second phase of the civil trial gets underway in New Orleans Sept. 30, wildlife are the unvoiced witnesses in the courtroom.
The trial will determine how much oil flowed into the Gulf following the Apr. 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, assess Clean Water Act penalties, and reveal BP's role in capping the Macondo well.
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Examiner was unable to attend the White House briefing Mon.
Bold marks/hyperlinks are those of the Examiner's.