"Zachary Simpson, who co-led the silvery minnow rescue team efforts in 2003 and also helped to monitor silvery minnow spawning efforts as well as compliance with the Biological Opinion, claims that top Interior Department officials knew about the legal violations. In one instance on June 13, 2003, Interior Assistant Secretary Ann Klee, along with Joy Nicholopolis, the director of the Ecological Services Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, participated in a conference call during which Simpson told Albuquerque agency officials that a stretch of river required to have water in it was dry."
"Simpson, a 26 year-old graduate student who grew up and attended high school in Albuquerque, also says that other fish salvage workers and river monitors have been re-assigned, fired, or intimidated into leaving the agency. He asserts that agency records have been manipulated to prevent an accurate public accounting of the events."
First, I have never heard of this guy. It makes it sound like he was some major researcher. Bzzzzz. Wrong. He was most likely a temporary worker hired as Summer-help for the minnow rescue program. When you're a 24-year old grad student, you are not talking on the phone with the Assistant Secretary of the Interior. There is a certain hierarchy in government service. I could see Joy talking with her since Joy was one of the people in charge in ABQ, but not Zach. Now, to possibly support him, 2003 was the driest year in over a century. A section of the lower river could have had flow that was under the requirement. The fact is that that stretch of the river is nearly impossible to keep wet unless massive amounts of water are released. The other bad part is that stretch of river is over so far south that even if we made a release of water it would take 5 days to get there. As far as our notes can determine, flows were very low, but the river was not dry. Also, at this point in time there were several court rulings and agreements floating around so no one was ever exactly sure what was exactly in effect when. Of course, the conspiracy theory mantra, "and all of the evidence to back up my claim has been destroyed!" is used in the last sentence.
It gets better!
"It is clear to me that these violations were systematic, and furthermore, that the Fish and Wildlife Service was clearly silent and complicit in the face of obvious violations of the Biological Opinion," said Simpson."
Ohhhhh! I see! You used your VAST knowledge of the Rio Grande and the Fish and Wildlife Service that you gained in your extensive tenure with the agency that you knew there was a conspiracy to kill the helpless little fishies.
I won't comment on the other biologist's comments. I'll just let you read it and see if you smell bullshit.
"Keith Basham, a veteran of the current war in Iraq who led the silvery minnow salvage team in 2004, claims that the current leadership of federal wildlife and water management agencies has politicized science in an effort to appease development interests. 'I served my country in Operation Iraqi Freedom and I found the behavior of the leadership of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation downright un-American,' says Basham"
Let's just say that Reclamation had an employee about 3 years ago who also saw a conspiracy by management to cover up accounting errors. He was diagnosed as bi-polar schitzophrneic who quit when questioned about damage to the office that occurred during a weekend when he was one of the only persons to go through security that day. He later made false accusations against several employees including myself where there were allegations of violations of federal election laws, ethical standards, and anti-discrimination rules. I later met him on a street corner and he ranted that I had called him a "fucking Mexican" which was very interesting considering that was the exact language used in an anonymous complaint filed against me. If we had a lunatic like this working for us, Fish and Wildlife certainly could have their own version.
This is going to get good!