Last year the US Fish and Wildlife Service quietly handed over the responsibility for issuing incidental take permits for species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Now, two environmental groups, the Center for Biodiversity and Conservancy of Southwest Florida, have given the US Fish and Wildlife Service 60 days to settle with them, or they will sue.
The Tampa Bay Times article notes that Florida developers were pleased with the switch to state control over the federal endangered species law. That may be because, the article says, two members of the eight member Florida commission are developers and a third is a paving contractor.
The feds turned over EPA enforcement to the Florida state government as well, the article notes.
Photo: Florida scrub jay, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service