Endangered mice had better stay in Colorado

Continuing the Bush Administration's trend of limiting protections for endangered species, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service this week removed the Preble's meadow jumping mouse from the threatened species list in Wyoming.

According to FWS, Wyoming's large agricultural base and slow human population growth mean the Preble's mouse doesn't face many risks in the state. But development runs at a much faster pace in Colorado, so the mouse retains some protection there.

This decision is pretty typical for the Bush Administration, which has a history of removing protections for a species in one state as long as it has a population in another state. Never mind, as Syliva Fallon of the NRDC says, that "mice can't read maps," and have a tendency to move from one site to another.

Conservationists are also quick to point out that the Preble's threatened status has held up developing in Wyoming, and that construction in the state's Front Range areas is likely to run amok now that it has been given a new, legal okay.

A previous decision to remove protections from the Preble's meadow jumping mouse was revealed last year to have been inappropriately influenced by a political appointee to the Interior Department.

Conservation groups already planning a lawsuit to fight this decision.