WASHINGTON (August 12, 2019) – Today the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) welcomed the finalization of federal rules to modernize implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This package from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) consists of three rules which improve the manner in which those agencies administer the ESA. The rules address Sections 4, 4(d), and 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which deal with listing and critical habitat, threatened species protection, and interagency consultation, respectively.
“The ESA affects cattle-producing families across the country,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “We are grateful to Secretary Bernhardt and the staff at FWS and NMFS for bringing this long-awaited regulatory relief to American cattle farmers and ranchers.”
“With these new rules, commonsense will once again be inserted into the ESA process,” added PLC President Bob Skinner. “Among other things, prioritizing critical habitat designations on occupied territory, streamlining the consultation process, and rolling back the ‘Blanket 4(d) Rule’ demonstrates that the agencies are reaffirming their commitment to both conserve sensitive species and safeguard rural economies.”
Barring court action, the rules package will officially take effect following a 30-day objection period.