Interior Department Announces Reforms to Endangered Species Act Procedures

The Trump administration on Monday announced reforms to the Endangered Species Act that it says will “increase transparency and effectiveness” in the law’s implementation.

One of the reforms removes a blanket rule which treats protections for threatened species the same as endangered species. It will also require the same standards be used when officials consider delisting or reclassifying species.

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Judge Strikes Down Trump’s Deal with Alaskan Tribal Community to Deny Life-Saving Road

by Tim Pearce   A federal judge vacated a land swap agreement Friday between an Alaskan village and the Department of the Interior because the federal government violated procedural law when making the deal. U.S. District Court of Alaska Judge Sharon Gleason nullified a January 2018 deal that traded roughly…

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Sources: Zinke Deputy David Bernhardt Likely to be Named as Acting Secretary of the Interior

by Michael Bastach   President Donald Trump will likely name David Bernhardt, the current number-two official at the Department of the Interior, as acting secretary until a full-time replacement can be found. One source close to the Trump administration said Bernhardt would be a likely pick, and Politico reported in October that…

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Zinke Ends Obama-Era Policy Requiring Energy Companies Fund Environmental ‘Mitigation’ Projects

Ryan Zinke

by Tim Pierce   The Department of the Interior (DOI) is scrapping an Obama-era policy mandating energy companies mitigate development on federal land by funding offsite environmental projects. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — a DOI-controlled agency and the largest land-owning agency in the U.S. — began forcing oil,…

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After 150 Years, Secretary Zinke Unveils Plan to Reorganize the Department of Interior

Ryan Zinke

By Printus LeBlanc   When Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke was sworn in, he came into a department that has not reorganized in 150 years. However, in the same timeframe new agencies were created, miles of red tape were introduced, and volumes of rules were added. The mammoth bureaucracy and inefficiencies…

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The Department of the Interior Will Pay 1,900 Local Governments $553 Million in ‘Lost Tax Revenue’ in 2018

federal lands

by Daniel Di Martino   Over 1,900 local governments received $553 million from the Department of Interior this year to compensate them for lost tax revenue for federal lands that cannot be developed in their territory. These payments are the consequence of more than 640 million acres of land, which amounts to 28 percent of…

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The Omnibus Prevents Sage Grouse from Obtaining Endangered Species Listing Status, But an Obama-Era Land Grab Is Still in Place

By Natalia Castro   For years, a bird has been the most expensive drain on the Midwest’s economy. The greater sage grouse is not listed as an endangered animal under the Endangered Species Act, but this has not prevented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from placing significant restrictions on…

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