The Trump administration made changes to the Endangered Species Act on Monday which would allow the government to take economic factors into the decision of listing a species as threatened or endangered. State attorneys general and environmental groups are already promising to sue as well.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service - working under the Interior Department - administer the list of endangered species.
"The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal - recovery of our rarest species", he said in a statement. In 2017, TIRN joined more than 420 conservation organizations in signing a letter to Congress opposing any weakening of the Endangered Species Act. That is the law credited with saving wildlife such as bald eagles and grizzly bears.
Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young said he is the only now serving member of Congress who voted for the original Endangered Species Act of 1973 and that the courts since then "have turned it into a bureaucratic nightmare that could not have been anticipated". The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. That prohibition was meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections for a forest-dwelling animal on economic grounds.More news: Bayer agrees to $10.9 billion plan to settle Roundup claims
Gary Frazer, an assistant director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told reporters that the government would adhere to that by disclosing the costs to the public, without it being a factor for the officials considering the protections. The Trump administration has cherry-picked scientific evidence to make a case to delist the gray wolf across the country, rolled back conservation plans for the sage grouse, and suppressed publication of research conducted by federal scientists demonstrating three pesticides alone jeopardize the continued existence of more than 1200 endangered or threatened species. "These changes were subject to a robust, transparent public process, during which we received significant public input that helped us finalize these rules".
When designating critical habitat, the regulations reinstate the requirement that areas where threatened or endangered species are present at the time of listing be evaluated first before unoccupied areas are considered.
"These final rules are a good start, but the administration is limited by an existing law that needs to be updated", said Wyoming Republican Sen. The changes, which could lead to extinction for hundreds of animals and plants, are illegal and will be challenged in court.
She and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that 99 percent of the species protected by the act have avoided extinction. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, said in a statement. "We don't look to pick a fight every time this administration decides to take an action. We'll see the Trump administration in court about it", Drew Caputo, Earthjustice vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife, and oceans. said in a statement, according to CNN. She said the top threat to species was loss of habitat. "It was a tough pill to swallow".More news: Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles
"There's times where hope is something you don't even want to talk about", he said.
"The majority of endangered species are underfunded, and as a outcome they're not meeting their recovery goals", Scott said. The rule had automatically given threatened species the same protections as endangered species unless otherwise specified. It also appears on the Seal of the President of the United States.
"Our bedrock environmental laws are under assault", said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C.
Numerous changes the Trump administration is rolling out address shared administrative concerns about the act, says Jake Li, the director for biodiversity at the Environmental Policy Innovation Center.More news: Bill Cosby Granted the Right to Appeal 2018 Sexual Assault Conviction