NESARC Applauds Reversal of ESA Mitigation Directives

30 March 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) —The National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition (NESARC) applauds the decision by the Trump Administration to revoke troublesome mitigation directives that significantly and adversely impact implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which revokes the November 3, 2015 Presidential Memorandum on “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” implemented under the Obama Administration.

Among those policies stemming from the 2015 Memorandum are “Revisions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service FWS Mitigation Policy” (81 FR 83440) finalized on November 21, 2016, and the “ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy” (81 FR 95316) finalized on December 27, 2016. NESARC continues to strongly oppose both of these policies in their current form.

“We are pleased that the Trump Administration has acted swiftly to overturn the mitigation memorandum,” said NESARC Chairman Ryan Yates. “This is an important first step in implementing an effective and balanced regulatory approach to mitigation that supports the protection of fish, wildlife, and plant populations as well as responsible land, water, and resource management.”

Secretarial Order 3349, which was issued a day after the Executive Order on March 29, 2017, revokes Secretarial Order 3330 on “Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of Interior” that was issued in 2013, and directs the review of all Interior Department actions related to or arising from the 2015 Presidential Memorandum.

“Reversing last year’s modifications to the FWS Mitigation Policy and the ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy are priorities for NESARC and its membership. We look forward to a prompt review and revocation of these policies so that we may work with the Administration to pursue effective improvements to ESA implementation as soon as possible,” said Yates.

NESARC is the country’s oldest broad-based, national coalition dedicated solely to achieving improvements to the ESA and its implementation. The Coalition includes agricultural interests, cities and counties, commercial real estate developers, conservationists, electric utilities, energy producers, farmers, forest product companies, home builders, landowners, oil and gas companies, ranchers, water and irrigation districts, and other businesses and individuals throughout the United States.

For further information, contact NESARC’s Executive Director, Jordan Smith, at (202) 298-1914 or jas@vnf.com.

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