Trump Aims to Clarify Rules for Protecting Endangered Species


Lawmakers who passed the Endangered Species Act four decades ago inserted a “degree of ambiguity” in key terms that led to most legal controversies surrounded enforcement of the law, the Interior Department’s No. 2 official said in a presentation at The Heritage Foundation.

To resolve such questions, Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said, the Interior Department joined with other agencies to propose changes aimed at providing “clarity and predictability” to regulations covering endangered or threatened wildlife.

“We are intent on maintaining our environmental standards, but we are equally intent on leaving a reliable, efficient, and defensible regulatory regime in place that better serves the American people than what we found when we walked into the department, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to do this,” Bernhardt said in his speech Monday.

Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service on overhauling the regulations.

The Trump administration announced proposed revisions in July that primarily address two sections of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

One of them, Section 4, involves procedures for listing species, recovering species, and designating critical habitat, the term for areas identified as essential to conserving a species. The other, Section …read more