U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Takes Steps to Address ESA Deficiencies
September 30, 2016

On Sept. 26, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final rule that begins to address abuses of the Endangered Species Act listing process. The rule limits petitions for new listings to one species and will require more substantive justification in order to file a petition for listing under the ESA. Previously, it was possible to file a single petition on behalf of several species. FWS officials say the rule could streamline the listing process in a way that benefits threatened species.

Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council applauded this step when he said, "We have been pushing for reforms to the broken ESA listing process for quite some time, and this final rule is a great step in the right direction. Limiting petitions to one species at a time will provide some desperately needed focus, and notification to the states affected in a timely manner-even if only 30 days-is progress toward increasing local input into the process."

The rule takes effect Oct. 27 and is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-09-27/pdf/2016-23003.pdf.