The Department of the Interior has announced plans to make administrative changes to implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The plans are part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to identify and remedy duplicative, burdensome, or unnecessary rules and regulations.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, working in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “will revise and update the ESA implementing regulations and policies to improve conservation effectiveness, reduce administrative burden, enhance clarity and consistency for impacted stakeholders and agency staff, and encourage partnerships, innovation, and cooperation.”

Among the changes to administrative process being considered are expanding opportunities for states to engage in the species listing process; revising the process for designating critical habitat to make it more consistent; using map- and internet-based descriptions of critical habitat boundaries instead of written descriptions of locations; and improving and expediting procedures for the development and approval of conservation agreements with landowners.


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