One lesser-known provision of the shutdown-averting budget agreement will remove reintroduced federal wolves from the endangered species list, ending a long-running battle that not only highlighted the absurdity of one of the nation's most powerful environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act, but showed how a lone agenda-driven federal judge can hand down dictates that tie an entire region in regulatory knots. I may not condone the means, but I loudly applaud the ends, since we can't have one activist judge and a gaggle of radical greens standing in the way of common sense and sound science forever.
It's a shame this couldn't be done legislatively, but a much-needed repeal or overhaul of the ESA by Congress just isn't in the cards, given the lobbying clout of Environmentalism Inc. The West shouldn't have to live in a perpetual state of regulatory conflict and uncertainty, with listing decisions seemingly changing on a monthly basis, just because Washington can't muster the courage to overrule arrogant judges, address the law's glaring flaws or bring an end to this impasse.
I can almost hear the howling this will generate in certain circles. But at this point, it's music to my ears.