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Petitioning Process for Endangered Species Act to Change
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Petitioning Process for Endangered Species Act to Change

The process by which parties petition for endangered species to be listed, delisted or reclassified under within the Endangered Species Act will change in late October.

Specifically, the changes will require increased engagement with state wildlife agencies while petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries (the Services). Moving forward, petitioners will need to notify the state wildlife agency in which the species the petitioner has identified is found 30 days prior to officially petitioning the Services. According to a release issued by the USFWS, this will allow the states to coordinate with federal agencies and provide them with the pertinent information required by them to make an informed decision.

“Currently petitioning the USFWS for species protection can be done on a bar napkin, and that’s the truth,” says Scott Jones, CEO of the Forest Landowners Association. “These changes are adding a much needed layer of intensified scrutiny on the listing process.”

Additionally, petitions will now be limited to one species per petition.

A release on the USFWS noted that these changes will “us and our partners to better leverage limited resources to more effectively conserve America’s imperiled wildlife.” These revisions were originally proposed in May of 2015 and the agency has been gathering public and stakeholder comments and feedback since then. It also noted that these petitions support the agency’s ongoing efforts to generate “greater involvement by state agencies and greater transparency to the public.”

These new regulations go into effect on October 27, 2016. The final rule can be found in the Federal Register by clicking here.





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