Reversing net benefit standards for mitigation will bring species “closer to the brink”

Statement of Eric Holst, Associate Vice President of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund

November 3, 2017
Chandler Clay, (302) 598-7559,

(Washington, D.C. – November 3, 2017) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced its plan to review and potentially revise net benefit goals in compensatory mitigation policy on the very anniversary of the presidential memorandum that set net benefit standards two years ago today.

“Reversing net benefit goals for mitigation would be a short-sighted move that would ultimately weaken conservation outcomes for wildlife. It goes against a basic ethic that we all practice when we go camping in our beautiful state and National Parks: Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it. 

“Mitigation policies and programs ensure that impacts to threatened and endangered species habitat are fully offset by long-term enhancement and protection of vital habitat, which in many cases provides the last remaining stronghold for a species’ survival. Net benefit goals help to ensure that this vital habitat is maintained, which helps keep wildlife off the Endangered Species List and on the path to recovery.

“Multiple states have already included net benefit standards in state mitigation programs, most recently for the greater-sage-grouse.

“Weakening U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service compensatory mitigation policy standards will only bring our nation’s threatened and endangered species closer to the brink of extinction. And once they are lost, they are gone forever.”

-        Eric Holst, Associate Vice President of Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund

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