CNN has caught up with Steve Spangle, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service whistleblower. In June, Spangle talked to High Country News about what he described as “shenanigans” around a proposed housing development in Arizona.
Put on hold because of environmental concerns in 2017, the project was back on track after what CNN describes as “a secret meeting” between the developer and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
The High Country News interview notes that the USFWS twice warned the project would have “appreciable” effects on wildlife, including rare species such as the jaguar and yellow-bellied cuckoo. Spangle says he changed the project’s requirements under pressure from superiors at the Department of the Interior, an assertion the department has denied.
Spangle, now retired, decided he needed to explain his 2017 decision lifting objections to the construction of a 13,000-acre “Villages at Vigneto” housing and golf course development on the San Pedro River southern Arizona.
“I felt the public should know that some shenanigans had taken place. It didn’t seem like the right way to do business,” he told High Country News. In this case, he said he changed the project’s requirements under pressure from superiors at the Department of the Interior, an assertion the department has denied.
He had more to say to CNN this week.