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Trump’s Endangered Species Rule Revoked

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Interior Department have revoked former President Donald Trump’s attempt to slash “critical habitat” recognitions for endangered species.

The final rule (PDF) to implement that revocation was published in the Federal Register on July 21, and will take effect on August 22. It completes the formal steps required to undo this Trump anti-environmental action, which was started during the later stages of his administration and took effect a day after he left office. 

The Trump rule sought to undercut USFWS’ and Interior’s ability to rely on agency expertise in determining what habitat is essential to protect endangered and threatened species. Instead, it elevated narrow financial cost considerations without the possibility of rebuttal. However, before the Trump rule took effect, litigation was filed to block it. As a result, Interior never implemented it. 

The Biden Administration is methodically working its way through the necessary legal processes to undo a raft of Trump attacks on critical environmental protections, from air and water quality to wildlife conservation and climate change. The Washington Post keeps a running tally of the administration’s progress on that effort.

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