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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« Case updates: compensating Klamath water users; court actions on settlements in listing and Sacramento Delta disputes; potential listing of Atlantic sturgeon no basis for stay. | Main| FWS lists Salmon-Crested cockatoo as threatened species »

U.S. FWS and NOAA announce ESA reform efforts

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In a press release issued today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Service formally announced their joint effort to identify and implement administrative changes to the Endangered Species Act aimed at accelerating recovery of imperiled species, enhancing on-the-ground conservation delivery, and better engaging the resources and expertise of partners to meet the goals of the ESA.  The Services will work to harness the expertise of career agency employees, the conservation community, landowners and other affected interests, and the broader public, to address selected issues. In particular, efforts will focus on:

-- Clarifying, expediting, and improving procedures for the development and approval of conservation agreements with landowners, including habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, and candidate conservation agreements;

-- Reviewing and revising the process for designating critical habitat to design a more efficient, defensible, and consistent process;

-- Clarifying the definition of the phrase “destruction or adverse modification” of critical habitat, which is used to determine what actions can and cannot be conducted in critical habitat; and

-- Clarifying the scope and content of the incidental take statement, particularly with regard to programmatic actions or other actions where direct measurement is difficult.  An incidental take statement is a component of a biological opinion that specifies the impact of an incidental taking of an endangered or threatened species and provides reasonable and prudent measures that are necessary to minimize those impacts.  Greater flexibility in the quantification of anticipated incidental taking could reduce the burden of developing and implementing biological opinions without any loss of conservation benefits.

More information on Improving ESA Implementation can be found online at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/reg_reform.html