On Friday, September 30, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed revisions to its regulations governing eagle and eagle nest incidental take permits, with the goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the permitting process while increasing the conservation benefit for eagles. Notably, FWS proposed a general permit option for qualifying wind-energy generation projects and power line infrastructure, which obviates the need for project sponsors to seek specific permit authorization.
On Friday, June 24, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service issued a final rule rescinding the agencies’ regulatory definition of “habitat” previously promulgated by the Trump administration on December 16, 2020, for use in determining a “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (Act). Under this prior definition, “habitat” included “the abiotic and biotic setting that currently or periodically contains the resources and conditions necessary to support one or more life processes of a species.” (more…)