EDF Praises FWS Work Plan to Partner with Landowners to Preserve Endangered Wildlife

May 10, 2011
Contact: 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Sean Crowley, 202-572-3331-w, 202-550-6524-c, scrowley@edf.org

(Washington, DC—May 10, 2011) Environmental Defense Fund praised a federal work plan unveiled today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that will allow the agency to focus its resources on the species most in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

FWS has begun a review of its ESA implementation designed to:

1. Identify ways to eliminate unnecessary procedural requirements;
2. Improve the clarity and consistency of regulations;
3. Engage the states, tribes, conservation organizations, and private landowners as more effective conservation partners; 4. Encourage greater creativity in ESA implementation; and
5. Reduce the frequency and intensity of conflicts as much as possible.

"We think this work plan is an excellent idea, especially improving clarity and consistency of regulations, encouraging greater creativity in ESA implementation, and working in partnership with landowners to provide wildlife recovery," said David Wolfe, who oversees all aspects of Environmental Defense Fund's Landowner Conservation Assistance and Safe Harbor programs in Texas. "At the same time, Congress needs to do its part to provide the Fish and Wildlife Service with the resources it needs to save America's endangered wildlife and habitat from extinction."

FWS is filing the work plan today in a consolidated case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as part of a proposed agreement with one of the agency's most frequent plaintiffs. If approved by the Court, the work plan will enable the agency to systematically, over a period of six years, review and address the needs of more than 250 species now on the list of candidates for protection under the ESA to determine if they should be added to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

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