On July 25, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the Department of Commerce jointly published proposals to significantly change regulations issued under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed changes would reinterpret and alter procedures and criteria used for listing or removing species from the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, as well as for designating what are regarded as critical habitat for endangered species. Public Comments on the Services’ proposals will be accepted up to Midnight (Eastern) on September 24, 2018.
We will post a more complete description and explanation of these proposed changes on this website by no later than August 2. In the meantime, if you wish to read the FWS’s recently issued Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, they can be found here. and also here. In addition, a separate Notice proposing changes relating to Interagency Cooperation respecting implementation of the Endangered Species Act can be found here. (The FWS issued three separate Notices relating to three different aspects of its proposed regulatory changes; and two virtually identical Notices were simultaneously issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on behalf of the NMFS.) A good summary of several of the more significant proposed changes is also available on the website of the Washington DC law firm of Perkins Coie.
Please stay tuned on this important proposal and check back on our website for further information and resources in the coming days and weeks; or sign up for email alerts and receive an immediate notification when we post a more complete description of this proposal among our Topics for Comment.