One of the first things President Obama did after he took office was put out a memo that basically said: Don't mess with science.
The March 9, 2009, memorandum stated that "political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions" and said all government agencies should have appropriate rules and procedures to safeguard the scientific process.
Nearly three years later, only a few have finalized new policies — though they're starting to be put to the test.
Credit Greg Turner/Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Attitudes about how best to protect Colorado bats from the spread of a deadly fungus is sparking debate and litigation. On Wednesday, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management. The issue stems from permits the agency plans to issue to recreational cavers during a national convention later this month in Glenwood Springs.
Citing decreased danger in northern and eastern Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management has lifted fire restrictions on its lands in Boulder, Gilpin, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties.