Biden Administration Takes Steps to Reverse Changes to the Endangered Species Act

On Wednesday (7-19-22), following directions from the Biden administration to review changes made by the Trump administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) canceled a policy adopted during the previous administration that weakened its authority to identify lands and waters where declining animal and plants could receive government protection. The action was the latest by the USF&WS to undue changes to the Endangered Species Act.

In a 48-page document explaining the withdrawal of the rule, the USF&WS said it gave outside parties an “oversized role” in determining which areas were needed for preserving imperiled species which undermined its authority.

Agency Director Martha Williams said, “The Service is the federal government’s lead agency on endangered species, responsible for conserving the nature of America for future generations.” Returning to the pre-Trump policy, she said, would make “sound science and citizen participation” the basis of habitat decisions.

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Biden administration reverses Trump endangered species rule