U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Takes Steps to Address ESA Deficiencies

WASHINGTON (Sept. 26, 2016) – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final rule that begins to address rampant abuse 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. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud FWS for taking steps to address these serious shortcomings.

“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,” said Ethan Lane, executive director of NCBA federal lands and PLC. “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 ESA, which is continuously abused by radical environmental groups, has a less than two percent recovery rate. Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity threaten litigation in order to force action on hundreds of species, without any regard for a recovery plan or actual species recovery. This continued abuse hampers real conservation efforts and species recovery by forcing arbitrary listing decisions that leave no time for sound research or science-based decisions.

“Serious groups from across the spectrum that are engaged in true conservation will applaud these changes,” said Lane. “By the same token, the habitual high-volume ESA abusers will be pretty easy to spot by their opposition to the rule.”

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