Feds say far-reaching conservation agreement with environmental groups is working
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal biologists say a court-approved work plan that reduces the amount of endangered species litigation has helped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cut the number of candidate species to 192, the lowest number is 12 years.
The agency released its formal Candidate Notice of Review (PDF) in late November. Three species have been removed from candidate status, two have been added, and nine have a change in priority from the last review conducted in October of 2011.
Since its implementation, the agreement between the agency and conservation groups has significantly reduced litigation-driven workloads and allowed the agency to protect 25 candidate species under the ESA, and propose protection for 91 candidate species.
The agreement will continue to allow the agency to focus its resources on the species most in need of the ESA’s protections over the next five years, said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
“We’re continuing to keep the commitments we made under this agreement, which has enabled us to be more efficient and effective in both protecting species under the ESA, as well as in working with our partners to recover species and get them off the list as soon as possible,” said Director Ashe. “Our ultimate goal is to have the smallest Candidate List possible, by addressing the needs of species before they require ESA protection and extending the ESA’s protections to species that truly need it.” Continue reading “USFWS updates endangered species candidate list”