KUNM

Conservation Group Plans To Sue Over Trump ESA Rules

Aug 15, 2019

Conservation groups are criticizing the Trump Administration’s new Endangered Species Act rules, saying they weaken the law. They’re concerned the rules will do more harm to New Mexico’s endangered and threatened species. 

The new rules are a disaster, said Noah Greenwald at the Center for Biological Diversity. Their studies have shown that the ESA has had a 99% success rate at preventing extinction since it was passed in 1973. 

 

"The Trump Administration is going 180 degrees in the wrong direction for the problems we face on this planet," said Greenwald.

For example, the endangered Lesser Prairie Chicken is losing its habitat to oil and gas development here, and Greenwald said it’s only going to get harder for these birds to find a place to survive in a warmer world. 

Under the new rules, it will be easier to remove species from the endangered list and protections for threatened species will be reduced. Economics will now be a factor for consideration when the feds decide whether a species makes it onto the list, while the influence of climate change will be reduced in the decision-making. 

Greenwald said the Center for Biological diversity is planning to sue to stop the new rules from going into effect.