Critics Say Trump Administration Is Weakening Endangered Species Act


This week the trump administration announced changes to some of the ways the endangered species act is enforced among the criticism that criticisms that followed the announcement was this that the revisions would make it easier for federal wildlife agencies to ignore climate change when deciding whether to protect a species or not n._p._r.'s nathan rot has more there are two revisions in particular that conservationists are worried about because they think that they will limit wildlife officials ability to consider climate change one centers on the designation of something called critical habitat the trump administration is directing wildlife officials to prioritize the areas that threatened and endangered species currently are before looking at the areas. They might be in the future. Jim lyons who worked in the interior department under president obama says the risk there is that with climate change species species even us humans are going to need to move from rising seas hot temperatures and he says if currently unoccupied areas are not considered and protected detected now the escape hatch if you will of the potential areas that species can move to will be off for lost before conserve the the purpose of hopefully protecting a species from extinction the other concern is around the term foreseeable future which gets it how far into the future wildlife officials should look when determining terminating whether a species needs protections or not so for example when they're trying to determine whether a coastal salamander needs protections from rising seas should they look at expected sea he level in ten years fifty or maybe a hundred when some current coastlines will be underwater lines and others say the trump administration is trying to limit limit that timeframe with legalistic language jake leap the director for biodiversity at the environmental policy innovation center is not so sure absolutely is is not the case that go domination had nearly unlimited discretion to consider climate change and now you know the trump administration has cabinet itself so much that asking the change lee says the revisions overall do weaken the endangered species act but context. You're he says is important. Across administrations wildlife officials have applied a wide range of foreseeable futures from twenty five years to eighty in some cases uses those longer projections were used to give species protections other times short projections were used to deny them. Science is always the foundation of those decisions. It's required by law but lee says it is not alone. Politics plays a huge factor into decisions of whether to list busy in the trump administration says it's making these changes for the same stated reason it's altered or rolled back dozens of environmental laws to reduce regulation for industry end landowners species it says will still be protected too and while skepticism about the administration's consideration of climate change is understandable given its denial al and suppression of climate science a lot of media coverage. A lot of the reaction seems to me overblown. Holly remiss we miss is a professor of environmental law at the university of california berkeley and she doesn't like these revisions but she also doesn't think that they're going to cause a big difference in how the endangered dangerous species act as applied so why are they making the changes at all. I think these regulatory changes are as much propaganda as says substance. They're away. She says for the trump administration to show its constituents who don't like the endangered species act that it's doing something about it but she says it does is not addressed. The bigger question of what climate change means for our ability to protect species into the future nathan rot n._p._r. News.

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