Mar 13, 2017 IPAA and API Letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Acting Directors Requesting Implementation Delay of Regulations for Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances
Dear Acting Directors: On December 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a final rule setting forth new regulations concerning enhancement-of-survival permits issued under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), associated with CCAAs at 81 Fed. Reg. 95,053. The new and revised rules are found in 50 CFR Part 17. Concurrent with this action, FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – together, “the Services” – also published revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances policy under the ESA. Pursuant to notices published in the Federal Register on January 26, 2017, implementing a January 20, 2017 memorandum from the White House, the current effective date for the rule and policy is March 21, 2017. 82 Fed. Reg. 8501, 82 Fed. Reg. 8540. With this letter, the Trades request that FWS delay the implementation of these rules for CCAAs, and further review and revise them, and that the Services revoke the policy to allow additional time for the agency to carefully evaluate the negative impacts and disincentives the new rule and policy have on the development and use of voluntary pre-listing conservation agreements that benefit species and their habitat.