Threatened or Endangered

January 8, 2016.  The following article was published in the Citrus County Chronicle on this date.
Threatened or Endangered
Recognizing that the population of the “endangered” Florida Manatee has approximately doubled to about 6,000 over the last 20 years, and possibly prompted by a lawsuit filed against it by the Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of Save Crystal River, Inc., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced its intention to consider proposing to reclassify this species to the less serious “threatened” status. Such a down-listing would no doubt be challenged by the manatee savior organizations, and might even be opposed by some boating advocacy groups who believe the manatee should be reclassified as “recovered”.
How such action will affect future proposals by the FWS to limit the number of swimmers in Three Sisters Springs (and in the manatee sanctuary areas of Kings Bay) will be interesting to follow.  At the very least, the action should help the economy by keeping lots of lawyers employed over the next few years.
Gary Rankel
Citrus Hills, Florida