On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) published final rules amending three important parts of the federal regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 1531 et seq.). The amended rules, which will take effect on September 26:
- Eliminate the automatic extension of protections to threatened (as opposed to endangered) species;
- Revise the provisions for designating critical habitat and listing and de-listing species under ESA Section 4; and
- Revise the procedures for interagency consultation under ESA Section 7.