LEGISLATIVE ATTACKS ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT DURING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Since the 115th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2017, it has already seen the introduction of at least 24 legislative attacks seeking to strip federal protections from specific species or undercutting the Endangered Species Act. These attacks build on more than 230 pieces of legislation that attempted to weaken the Endangered Species Act since 2011, when the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives. With Donald Trump in the White House, these types of attacks are more likely to become law, severely harming our nation’s endangered species.

A list of past attacks on the Endangered Species Act (since 1996) can be found here.  (This page was last updated on April 26, 2017.)

 

Bill # Title of Legislation Date Introduced Type of Attack Species Targeted Sponsor What It Does to the ESA Provision Signed Into Law?
[No bill number yet] Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act April 25, 2017 General attack   Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) Strips protections from every endangered species until Congress passes a resolution of approval, guts protections for species found only within one state’s boundaries, and eliminates the ability of citizens to submit petitions to protect species under the Endangered Species Act Currently being considered
[No bill number yet] Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act April 25, 2017 General attack   Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) Strips protections from every endangered species until Congress passes a resolution of approval, guts protections for species found only within one state’s boundaries, and eliminates the ability of citizens to submit petitions to protect species under the Endangered Species Act Currently being considered

S.735

State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act

March 27, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY)

Amends the Endangered Species Act to require all data used in listings to be run by the states first; Undermines the "best available science" standard by deeming tribal, state and county data best available science' even if it is not

Currently being considered

S.879 National Forest Ecosystem Improvement Act of 2017 March 27, 2017 General attack   Sen. John Barasso (R-WI) Waives Endangered Species Act Sect. 7 consultation for forest management activities by making FIFRA consultation under 50 CFR 402 sufficient for ESA obligations Currently being considered

S.605

Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act

March 15, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT); Jon Tester (D-MT) 

Legislatively undoes the Cottonwood v. USFS case; would forego Section 7 consultations when new species are listed or new critical habitat designated, for already approved land management plans

Currently being considered

H.R.1525

Stop Taxpayer Funded Settlements Act

March 13, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)

Prevents any federal employee from entering into settlements for payment of attorney fees for envronmental law cases, including those regarding the Endangered Species Act

Currently being considered

H.R.1273

21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act

March 1, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Dan  Newhouse (R-WA)

Requires that all data used in a listing and delisting determination under the Endangered Species Act be made available on the internet; overly burdensome to agency

Currently being considered

H.R.1274

State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act

March 1, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Dan  Newhouse (R-WA)

Amends the Endangered Species Act to require all data used in listings to be run by the states first; Undermines the "best available science" standard by deeming tribal, state and county data 'best available science' even if it is not

Currently being considered

H.R.1269

Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act

March 1, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

Transfers implementation of the Endangered Species Act to the Bureau of Reclaimation for a CA water project when the agency does not have the expertise like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does (the Act designates the Service as implementing agency)

Currently being considered

S. 375

Endangered Species Act Settlement Reform Act

February 14, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. John Coryn (R-TX)

Requires the Interior Department to provide public notification of when Endangered Species Act suits, often from environmental groups, are filed and would set a lower standard for when outside groups, such as interested businesses, can intervene

Currently being considered

S. 376

21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act

February 14, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. John Coryn (R-TX)

Requires that all data used in a listing and delisting determination under the Endangered Species Act be made available on the internet; overly burdensome to the agency

Currently being considered

S. 368

Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act

February 14, 2017

Species-specific

Mexican gray wolf

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

Allows hostile states to intervene in forming the recovery plan despite the requirement for best available science

Currently being considered

S.335

Federal Land Freedom Act

February 7, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

Transfers oversight of oil and gas leasing of all federal land located in a state to encourage development'; waives the ESA for all oil & gas and energy development activities

Currently being considered

S. 273

Greater Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act of 2017

February 3, 2017

Species-specific

Greater Sage-grouse

Sen. Jim Risch (R-IA)

Allows state governors to block any provisions within the sweeping federal sage grouse conservation plans approved in 2015 that do not conform to state-approved grouse conservation strategies; Senate companion to H.R. 527

Currently being considered

H.R.717

Listing Reform Act

January 27, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Pete Olsen (R-TX)

Requires review of economic cost of adding species before an ESA listing, against Sect. 4's requirements that only science be used; removes mandatory deadlines for listing decisions

Currently being considered

S. 164 

A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue the final rules relating to the listing of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and the State of Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973

January 18, 2017

Species-specific

Gray wolf

Sen. John Barasso (R-WI); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Reissues the 2011 FWS rule to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; preempts judicial review; Senate companion to H.R. 424

Currently being considered

H.R. 527

Greater Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act of 2017

January 13, 2017

Species-specific

Greater Sage-grouse

Sen. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

Allows state governors to block any provisions within the sweeping federal sage grouse conservation plans approved in 2015 that do not conform to state-approved grouse conservation strategies.

Currently being considered

S.Amdt.151

Rider to the concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2018 through 2026.

January 11, 2017

Species-specific

Greater Sage-grouse

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Transfers oversight of over 60 million acres of federal lands where sage-grouse are found to Western states; Prevents the FWS from listing the bird for at least 10 years.

Currently being considered

H.R. 424

Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017

January 10, 2017

Species-specific

Gray wolf

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY); Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)

Reissues the 2011 FWS rule to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

H.R.289

Guides and Outfitters Act (GO Act)

January 4, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

Prohibits DOI from charging businesses the cost for Sect. 7 consultations when they apply for special use permits

Currently being considered

H.R.226

African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act

January 3, 2017

Species-specific

African elephant; Asian elephant

Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

Authorizes for the import and export of ivory under the ESA; makes it more difficult to track illegal ivory

Currently being considered

H.R. 26

To amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that major rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law (REINS Act)

January 3, 2017

Species-specific

Greater Sage-grouse

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV)

Delays ESA listing of the sage grouse for the next 5 years, until 2021; invalidates federal management plans if a state has their own plan; preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

H.R.23

Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017

January 3, 2017

Species-specific

Sacremento River salmon**; Delta smelt

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)

Waives the ESA in water diversion projects in the Sacramento River or the San Joaquin Rivers

Currently being considered

H.R.200

Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act

January 3, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

Overrides the ESA by providing that any restriction on fishing restrictions under the ESA must be implemented under this Act

Currently being considered

**Sacramento River salmon

  1. Chinook salmon (Sacramento River winter run DPS)
  2. Chinook salmon (California Coast DPS)
  3. Steelhead trout (Central Valley DPS)
  4. Steelhead trout (Northern California DPS)
  5. Steelhead trout (South-Central California coast DPS)
  6. Steelhead trout (Central California Coastal DPS)
  7. North American green sturgeon (southern DPS)
  8. Delta Smelt