Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

ESA Regulatory Reforms Proposed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have proposed changes to regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act.

This proposal is in alignment with NAR policy related to reducing administrative and regulatory burdens, making regulations more transparent and accountable, shifting more responsibility to state and local governments where appropriate and encouraging private sector engagement to protect species and preserve habitat.


The proposed revisions would:

  • Address use of "occupied" vs. "unoccupied" habitat in designating critical habitat for species
  • Detail circumstances where designation of critical habitat would not be prudent
  • Interpret the phrase "foreseeable future" regarding future threats to imperiled species
  • Ensure that standards used to delist species are consistent with those used for listing decisions


There is a 60 day public comment period.