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USFWS Proposes Problematic 10(j) ESA Expansion

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule to expand regulations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) related to the introduction of listed species to habitats outside their historical ranges.

The existing 10(j) regulations relating to experimental populations currently restrict the introduction of experimental population to only the species’ “historical range.” The proposed rule would eliminate references to species’ “historical range,” broadening the areas where USFWS may introduce experimental populations, with the justification that the Service believes it will be “increasingly necessary and appropriate to establish experimental populations outside of their historical range if the ability of the habitat to support one or more life history stages has been reduced due to threats, such as climate change or invasive species”.

Introducing species outside historic range would radically expand the agency's regulatory purview and opens the door for regulatory creep through additional rule makings.

Public comments will be accepted until Monday, August 8, 2022.

PLC will develop technical comments and are happy to support you as you develop your own. Contact for additional information.

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