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Giving Compass' Take:
· Shortly after reports showed how humans have led numerous species to the brink of extinction, the Trump administration has passed legislation weakening the Endangered Species Act and changing the way it is implemented.
· How can donors support the protection for these species?
· Learn more about how we protect endangered animals.
Three months after leading scientists warned that humans have driven up to 1 million species around the globe to the brink of extinction, the Trump administration has finalized a sweeping overhaul of the Endangered Species Act, weakening one of America’s most important laws for protecting imperiled plants and animals.
The new rules, unveiled on Monday, change how federal agencies implement portions of the conservation law, making it easier to remove recovered species from the protected list and opening the door for more drilling and other development. It also scraps the “blanket section 4(d) rule,” a provision that automatically extends the same protections to plants and animals listed as threatened as the act affords those listed as endangered, and revises how agencies go about designating habitat as critical to species’ long-term survival.
The changes, first proposed in July 2018, allow federal agencies to consider economic factors when making decisions about granting species protections, which the law has previously explicitly prohibited, and potentially limit their ability to account for the impacts of future climate change.
The administration has said the overhaul will “modernize” and “improve” the law, lifting regulatory burdens while continuing to protect species.
Karen Budd-Falen, the Interior Department’s deputy solicitor for fish, wildlife and parks who once called the ESA “a sword to tear down the American economy,” was among several agency officials who briefed reporters about the changes during a call Monday. The rules, she said, will “ensure transparency” in the ESA process and “provide regulatory assurances and protection for both endangered species and the businesses that rely on the use of federal and private land.”
Read the full article about the Endangered Species Act by Chris D’Angelo at Huffington Post.