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Wildlife agency revoking rules for endangered Trump species

Billings, Montana (AP)

President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Tuesday that it would cancel two environmental rollbacks under former President Donald Trump, who restricted habitat protection for dangerous plants and wildlife.

The proposal by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Department of Marine and Fisheries to abolish the two Trump-era rules is a widespread effort by the Biden administration to revoke the rules imposed under Trump, which favors industry rather than the environment. It is a part.

Designation of land and water areas important for the survival of vulnerable species may limit mining, oil drilling and other development. This has sparked a conflict between environmental and business interests.

Trade associations and Republicans in Congress have long seen endangered species law as an obstacle to economic development. Under Trump, they lobbied successfully to weaken legislation.

Shannon Estenos, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife Parks, said Tuesday’s proposal that the endangered species law “matches original intent and purpose and protects and restores American heritage for future generations.” rice field.

The rule changes under Trump were finalized during his last few weeks in office. In short, they had little time to make a big impact.

One allows the government to refuse habitat protection for endangered flora and fauna in areas where development may benefit more economically. Democrats and wildlife advocates complained that they would open the land to more drilling and other activities.

Another rule provides a definition of “habitat” that critics blame, excluding places where climate change disrupts ecosystems and may require species to use in the future.

Two rules were created in response to the 2018 US Supreme Court ruling on the endangered southern frog, the dim Gopher frog.

In that case, a unanimous court accused the government of how it designated a 3.5-inch (8.9 cm long) frog’s “important habitat” to survive in just a few ponds in Mississippi. Did.

The ruling came after the timber company Weyerhaeuser filed a proceeding when the land owned in Louisiana was designated as important in case the frogs returned in the future.

Trump officials have explained the change to pay more respect to local governments if they want to build schools, hospitals, etc.

However, the rules allow potential exemptions from habitat protection for much broader development, including the demands of private companies that have permission to lease or use federal land. .. Government-issued leases and permits enable energy development, grazing, recreation, logging and other commercial use of public land.

According to wildlife advocates, animals that could be affected by this change include the struggling lizard butterfly, grassland birds found in five states in the south-central United States, western Texas and New Mexico. There are rare sand dune sage brush lizards that live in oil fields in the eastern part of the state. ..

Wildlife agency revoking rules for endangered Trump species

Source link Wildlife agency revoking rules for endangered Trump species

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