U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes rollback of Trump-era overhaul on the Endangered Species Act

The updates come with mixed reviews by environmental groups and lawmakers.

Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed giving threatened species on land and in freshwater the same protections as endangered species. The move would restore automatic protections and roll back a Trump-era overhaul of the Endangered Species Act.

Environmental groups like Earthjustice are praising the move.

“These are promising steps toward restoring the purpose and power of the Endangered Species Act, and getting these protections back is why we challenged the harmful Trump rules for the past four years. By mending the rules interpreting the ESA, the Biden administration can significantly help us address the worsening biodiversity crisis and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Act,” Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles said.

Not everyone agrees, including House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman from Arkansas.

“The Biden administration is rolling back commonsense reforms and further turning the ESA into a political battering ram rather than a conservation tool,” Westerman tells Agri-Pulse.

Industry groups were largely in favor of the Trump administration’s changes to the Endangered Species Act, but after the Biden Administration took over, a review of the regulations began. The proposals are live now on the Federal Register and will enter a 60-day comment period.

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