FWS, NOAA Propose Actions on ESA
On Monday, May 18th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would require petitioners to solicit information from relevant state wildlife agencies prior to submitting a listing petition to the Services. The proposed rule would also limit petitions to one species at a time.
According to FWS and NOAA, this new set of tools will improve the effectiveness and demonstrate the flexibility of the ESA. According the official press release, FWS and NOAA will be unveiling additional proposals over the coming year to achieve four broad goals; 1.) Improving science and increasing transparency; 2.) Incentivizing voluntary conservation efforts; 3.) Focusing resources to achieve more success; and 4.) Engaging the States. PLC and NCBA are supportive of these goals and appreciate this positive action by the Services, and we look forward to the Services working with Congress to pass legislation that would enshrine these positive changes and give them the weight of law.
A sixty day comment period will open once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. PLC and NCBA will be working with and through our coalition, the National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition (NESARC) to develop comments.