The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service seek to rescind two critical habitat regulations finalized in the last days of the Trump administration. In December 2020, FWS issued a final rule that revised the process for considering critical habitat exclusions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). FWS re-evaluated the rule and concluded the conservation purposes of the ESA are better met by resuming its previous approach. The proposal follows an executive order which directed all federal agencies to review and address agency actions to ensure consistency with Biden administration objectives.
The American Farm Bureau Federation calls the effort a disappointment. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says, “The Biden administration has proposed three different changes to these regulations, signaling a return to complicated and burdensome rules that do little to advance conservation goals.” Duvall adds AFBF will remain engaged on ESA issues and encourage farmers and ranchers to share their stories during the proposed rule change comment period.