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Protection of Independent Thinking

As someone who has worked frequently with USFWS personnel on endangered species issues, I have found that scientists that go against the accepted party line are often attacked by their superiors, particularly at the state supervisor and regional director levels. This has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation-- and as a result many of the good scientists have left the USFWS to take jobs elsewhere. I have seen a steady stream of bright people move through the state offices in New Mexico and Arizona, and then give up when their views were either attacked directly or were not acknowledged as having any value. USFWS scientists must be protected from political pressure from their supervisors, and when complaints (either formal or informal) are filed, they should not be ignored or swept under the rug as they usually are now.


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