Threatened and Endangered Species Listings Likely to Increase Under New FWS Policy

People are wondering how the Notice of Final Policy of the Fish and Wildlife Service will impact them and their properties.  This article takes a look at both the notice and what the author thinks will happen.  The phrase  “significant portion of its range” (“SPR”) is up to determination, and that is always concerning to anyone who wants know law. The immediate red flag here is the claim by the government that the application of this new policy will be relatively uncommon.  Relative to what is the question begged, if it is relative to what the agencies have done in the past, this is alarming!  This well researched article will provide the reader with much useful information. Beginning on July 31, 2014, FWS will use the new SPR Policy to list entire species as “endangered” or “threatened” when the species has experienced impacts in only a fraction of its range.  Though FWS avers that new listings based on the SPR policy will be “relatively uncommon,” in practice this significantly broadened agency discretion will have far-reaching impacts for project proponents and other regulated individuals.  

July 4, 2014