Wildlife Agencies Announce Final Critical Habitat Rules and Policy

On February 5, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the Services) announced the availability of two final rules and one policy addressing critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  One of the final rules  revises the definition of destruction or adverse modification, an issue that has been controversial among both critics and proponents of the proposed revisions.  The other final rule  is intended to clarify the criteria for designating critical habitat.  The final policy  updates existing policy on critical habitat exclusions under ESA section 4(b)(2).   Nossaman attorneys have been closely following these critical habitat rules and policy since the Services announced the proposed rules and policy on May 12, 2014.  The Summer 2015 edition of the American Bar Association’s Natural Resources and Environment publication features two Nossaman  articles analyzing the proposed regulations and policy and their potentially significant impacts on the regulated community.  The Federal Register will provide the official publication of the final rules and policy in the coming days.

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  • Brooke M. Marcus

    Brooke Marcus is a natural resources lawyer focused on assisting the renewable energy sector with maintaining compliance with environmental laws. She is go-to counsel for matters involving the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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