Give a donation to Spirit of the Sage Council using PayPal

The "No Surprises" Campaign

The "No Surprises" Campaign has been the most revolutionary and far reaching endangered species campaign since the ESA was enacted in 1973!

Spearheaded by the Spirit of the Sage Council in 1994, when the policy was first announced on August 11th, by U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, and former Secretary of Commerce, Kantor, the "No Surprises" campaign has brought the conservation and scientific community together throughout the nation to oppose the scientifically draconian changes to the Endangered Species Act.



No Surprises:
The Sage Council Goes to Court – July, 1999

More News from the No Suprises Campaign

How to support the "No Surprises" campaign
To date over 800 distinguished scientists, university academia, religious institutions, Native American tribes, economists, farmers, environmental organizations and people like YOU have joined the campaign to end the Clinton Administration's "No Surprises" guarantee to land developers, timber and mining companies of killing endangered species through Habitat Conservation Plans and Incidental Take Permits.

Over 19 million acres of endangered species habitat is currently locked up in, and threatened by, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s issuance of Incidental Take Permits and Agreements with "No Surprises" guarantees that allow such habitat areas to be destroyed along with over 400 various species of rare, threatened and endangered wildlife, plants and fish. Such killing, for private economic gain and political support, appears unstoppable regardless of the negative ramifications to the species over the next 30 -100 years. Prior to the Clinton/Babbitt administration there were less than 20 Incidental Take Permits issued. Since 1994 over 200 permits to kill threatened and endangered species have been issued with another 250 in process. The Democrats have been throwing away the Endangered Species Act before the Republicans could take it away!

However, we intend on stopping the endless slaughter of the wild ones. By raising our voices in unison and through cutting-edge litigation, the environmental and scientific community has made "No Surprises" the #1 issue in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate for consideration in the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act. Because of the "No Surprises" campaign every conservation organization is opposed to the current Kempthorne/Chafee Bill (S. 1180) because it contains and would codify into law No Surprises, Safe Harbor and Candidate Conservation Agreements.

The Sage Council, along with the National Endangered Species Network, Biodiversity Legal Foundation (CO), Shoshone-Gabrielino Nation (CA), San Bruno Mountain Watch (CA), SW Center for Biological Diversity (AZ), Forest Guardians (NM) and others, led the legal challenge to "No Surprises" in 1996 that successfully forced the federal government, under the Administrative Procedures Act, to let the public comment on the "policy" change to the Endangered Species Act.

In the summer of 1998, the Sage Council continued to take the lead in the "No Surprises" campaign and in litigation along with legal counsel, Eric Glitzenstein, of the law offices of Meyer & Glitzenstein, Washington, D.C., and conservation organizations throughout the U.S. -- National Endangered Species Network (CA.), Biodiversity Legal Foundation (CO.), Humane Society of the United States (D.C.), Shoshone Gabrielino Nation (CA.), Klamath Forest Alliance (CA.), and others.


San Bernardino County Linked to Endangered Species Suit
Five environmental groups filed a challenge to the Clinton Administration's implementation of a "No Surprises" guarantee. San Bernardino County's diverse ecosystem makes it a key component.
Legal Challenge to the Final "No Surprises" Rule - Spirit of the Sage Council, et. al., v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, et. al. - For the Failure of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Marine Fisheries Service, to Comply with the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1532 et. seq.) , and the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 706), by adopting a formal rule, a.k.a. "No Surprises," which greatly expands the circumstances under which third parties may "take" and endangered or threatened species through the destruction of habitat or other means... (Available upon request)
No Surprises Species - A partial list of species, and their status, affected by FWS "take" permits and HCP agreements that include No Surprises guarantees.
No Surprises HCPs - A partial list of the more than 400 Habitat Conservation Plans and Incidental Take Permits proposed or approved nationwide that include No Surprises guarantees (a.k.a. the killing fields).
Spirit of the Sage Council, et. al., v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, et. al. - For Violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 533, by substantially changing, without any prior public notice or opportunity to comment, the Services' approach to the issuance of permits, under the Endangered Species Act. October 31, 1996. United States District Court For The District Of Columbia. 1:96CV02503
Spirit of the Sage Council, et. al., v. Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, et. al. - Settlement Agreement and Stipulated Dismissal. March 18, 1997 and Stipulation, dated December 23, 1997.
Science Missing In The No Surprises Policy - Dr. Shawn Smallwood, et. al. 1997. Peer reviewed unpublished report commissioned and submitted on behalf of Spirit of the Sage Council and the National Endangered Species Network. Supported by nearly 200 scientists and environmental professionals throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Switzerland and England. (Literature references not included but available upon request)
Scientists Sign-on Letter - to Secretary Babbitt and other federal government representative in regards to, and in opposition to, No Surprises, Safe Harbors and Candidate Conservation Agreements regulatory changes to the Endangered Species Act. Dr. Shawn Smallwood et. al. 1997, Consulting in the Public Interest. Supporting attachment to the report "Science Missing In the No Surprises Policy."
Surprises Inherent in the No Surprises Policy - The most articulate and "to-the-point" explanation of Section 10(a) of the ESA with the legal and scientific consequences of No Surprises. Copyright 1996, Endangered Species UPDATE Vol. 13 Nos. 10&11, by Kimberley K. Walley, Meyer and Glitzenstein, Washington, DC.
No Surprises - The Policy of Extinction - Report to Congress from Spirit of the Sage Council with Introduction by Eric Glitzenstein of Meyer & Glitzenstein, D.C. 1997. (Limited copies available upon request to members of the press and government representatives).
Proposed "No Surprises" Rule - U.S. Department of the Interior, 62 Federal Register 103 pp. 29091-29098, Thursday, May 29, 1997.
Final "No Surprises" Rule, 1998. - U.S. Department of the Interior et. al., Revisions to Parts 17 (FWS) and 222 (NMFS) of Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Full text available by written request to Chief, Division of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington, DC., 20240 or by calling (703) 358-2171.
60-DAY Notice to Sue - the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Marine Fisheries Service, For Violations of the Endangered Species Act In Connection With "No Surprises". (June 13, 1996).