The Obama administration on Tuesday revoked a rule enacted toward the end of the Bush administration that it said undermined protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Federal agencies must “once again consult with federal wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — the two agencies that administer the ESA — before taking any action that may affect threatened or endangered species,” the Interior and Commerce departments said in a statement.
“By rolling back this 11th hour regulation, we are ensuring that threatened and endangered species continue to receive the full protection of the law,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department oversees Fish and Wildlife.
This is a huge victory for endangered species throughout the United States, and a huge victory for conservation groups, including Audubon, that argued strongly that the Bush Administration changes dangerously weakened protections for birds and other wildlife on the verge of extinction.