Shoddy Science Almost Led US FWS To Use Flawed Map in KXL Review

"A year ago, the Fish and Wildlife Service was poised to use a scientifically flawed range map for the American burying beetle during a preliminary assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline's effect on the endangered insect."

"The map would have shrunk the insect's range by 25 percent in Oklahoma, using spatial models -- rather than county lines -- to determine the habitat. But the map was never used in the Keystone assessment or any other agency action, thanks to a scientific integrity complaint.

News of that complaint became public last week, when the Interior Department's inspector general released a 'management alert' referring to the retaliation against the employees who questioned the range map and an unrelated data collection.

FWS officials have confirmed a 'loss of scientific integrity' in both instances and scientific misconduct in the creation of the beetle's range map. FWS Director Dan Ashe has said the two supervisors involved were disciplined for those findings, but the agency is still determining appropriate action for the supervisors' retaliation against the whistle-blowers."

Emily Yehle reports for Greenwire August 8, 2013.

Source: Greenwire, 08/09/2013