Trump Administration Slashes Endangered Species Act, Worsening Extinction Crisis

A bald eagle is seen along the American Trail at the Smithsonian National Zoo Aug. 11 2016 in Washington D.C

The act now protects more than 1,500 species and remains one of the most powerful environmental laws on the books. "The Endangered Species Act works; our communities- both natural and human - have reaped the benefits".

Under the new rule, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will have to perform an analysis and weigh the costs based on already-available scientific and commercial data of protecting wildlife before adding an endangered species to their list.

The Trump administration is finalizing a devastating rollback that will gut the Endangered Species Act.

"With extinction rates skyrocketing globally and the impacts of climate change on vulnerable wildlife populations unknown, we need a strong, vigorous [Endangered Species Act], not a weaker one", she said. That animal depends on spring snowpack for mating.

Other changes include ending blanket protections for species newly listed as threatened and a revision that conservation groups say could block officials from considering the impact on wildlife from climate change, a major and growing threat to many species.

US Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director Gary Frazer said they won't speculate that a species could be negatively impacted.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Earthjustice, an environmental legal group, also noted the act's popularity, citing research conducted with a polling firm showing that 53% of Americans "strongly support" the act and 37% "somewhat support the act".

"The ESA directs that determinations to add or remove a species from the lists of threatened or endangered species be based exclusively on the best available scientific and commercial information, and these will remain the only criteria on which listing determinations will be based", Bernhardt said.

Pushing back against the criticism, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and other administration officials contend the changes improve efficiency of oversight while continuing to protect rare species.

"The Trump administration's latest attempt to sink Endangered Species Act protections for endangered whales, sea turtles and dolphins will be resisted by the American people", said Turtle Island Restoration Network Executive Director Todd Steiner.

Conservation groups and attorneys general of several states including California and MA had been critical of the changes first proposed previous year, saying they were in violation of the objective of the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Other changes address designation of critical habitat with the goal of reducing "the potential for additional regulatory burden that results from a designation when a species is not present in an area". Unfortunately, the Trump administration's new rule makes it nearly impossible to designate habitat that is not inhabited now but likely will be in the future due to climate change. "We'll see the Trump administration in court about it", Drew Caputo, Earthjustice vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife, and oceans. said in a statement. In other words, endangered species often conflict with development and when they do the rule goes in favor of the species, that would change. "They don't do well with any human disturbance of their habitat, but that isn't economically viable in today's world, their habitat has lots of human uses that we're not going to give up". "In the four decades since the Endangered Species Act became law, 99% of species protected under the Endangered Species Act have not perished".

Related News:

Most liked

System Shock 2 Enhanced Edition Confirmed
Developed at Looking Glass Studios, System Shock 2's lead designer was Ken Levine , who went on to create Bioshock . However, with this news it could mean that System Shock remake is nearly ready to be released.

Family Of Nora Quoirin Offers €10,000 Reward For Information
The family have said they remain hopeful after police leading the investigation refused to rule out a "criminal element". Nora Anne and her family arrived at the Negeri Sembilan resort on Aug 3 for a two-week holiday.

Australian police investigate report of armed man in downtown Sydney
Witness have said they saw a man carrying a knife and attacking people but police have not confirmed reports of any injuries. A policeman stands by a roped off crime scene after a man stabbed a woman and attempted to stab others in central Sydney .

Some storms popping up overnight and into Tuesday morning
The National Weather Service isn't likely to post any weather watches until after the morning round of storms. Temperatures will reach the 90s again by Wednesday with mostly dry conditions all the way into next weekend.

Sea to Sky Gondola closes following a 'major lift incident'
Squamish RCMP officers are investigating the downed Sea to Sky Gondola as a potentially intentional, criminal act. Police are asking visitors to stay away from the area, including away from nearby trails.

Jeffrey Epstein's NY jail was short-staffed
Law enforcement officials told The New York Post on August 11 that there is no surveillance footage of the apparent suicide . The guards failed to follow several protocols leading up to Epstein's death, according to the New York Times .

Liverpool: Van Dijk backs Adrián while Alisson is out
The clash with Chelsea comes just three days before a tricky trip to Southampton in the Premier League. I don't think he wanted to sit only on the bench for the next couple of years.

Tesla electric auto bursts into flames after hitting tow truck in Moscow
A Tesla Inc Model 3 electric automobile recharges at a charging station beside a canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The company could not immediately be reached for comment outside of normal United States business hours.

Serena hopeful over back injury after Rogers Cup retirement
After her tearful on-court exchange with Williams, and the trophy presentation, Andreescu did a long list of interviews. Serena Williams , left, is consoled by Bianca Andreescu after retiring from Sunday's Rogers Cup final .

Fortnite Champ Bugha Swatted During Twitch Stream
However, in April a gamer was sentenced to 20 years in jail for making a swatting call that led to an innocent man being killed. A subsequent clip captured the streamer's return and explanation of events: "Yeah, I got swatted".

TV actor Abhinav Kohli arrested for sexually harassing woman
After the news went viral on the internet, the actor's mother Poonam Kohli has spoken up on the matter and defended her son. Our heart bleeds for Shweta, her first marriage with Raja Chaudhary was a disaster and Raja too was a violent man.

Hong Kong airport suspends check-ins due to protests
A Cathay Pacific flight left Perth as scheduled just before midnight Monday and is due to land in Hong Kong at about 7.30am Tuesday .

K-pop group BTS to take 'extended' break from performing
Fans were extremely supportive of the vacation time for the band, which marks their first official break since their debut in 2013.

Antonio Brown and Tom Brady aren't happy about helmet switch
The Oakland Raiders traded for wide receiver Antonio Brown this offseason knowing he's been known to stir it up a little bit. The absence, though not fully clear, is bound have some reference to the new helmet rule.

Move over 64MP: Samsung unveils 108MP camera sensor destined for Xiaomi phone
This includes a 108-megapixel maximum resolution for photos, and 6K (6,016x3,384 pixel) video recording at 30 frames-per-second. Whether we need 100MPs is a whole other story, but it's still good to see that Xiaomi are taking their cameras seriously.