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 63 legislative attacks seeking to strip federal protections from specific species or undercutting the Endangered Species Act. These attacks build on an already existing 303 pieces of legislation that attempted to weaken the Endangered Species Act from previous Congresses. Since 1996, there has been a total of 366 bills introduced seeking to dismantle critical species protections. Legislative attacks have significantly increased since the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives. And with Donald Trump in the White House, these types of attacks are more likely to become law, severely harming our nation's imperiled wildlife.

View a list of past attacks on the Endangered Species Act (since 1996).  (This page was last updated on December 20, 2017.)

 

Bill # Title of Legislation Date Introduced Type of Attack Species Targeted Sponsor What It Does to the ESA Provision Signed Into Law?

H.R. 200

Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act ("FISH") 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

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. 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. 26 (H.Amdt.)

Regulations in Need of Scrutiny ("REINS") Act of 2017 

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. 244 (Sect. 114)

Rider to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017

January 4, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Prohibits funds from being used to write or issue rules for the sage-grouse pursuant to the ESA

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. 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 and 2012 FWS rules to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; Preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

S.Con.Res.3 (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. 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. 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 barrasso (R-WI); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Reissues the 2011 and 2012 FWS rules to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; preempts judicial review

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. 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; 

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. 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. 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 ESA 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 ESA be made available on the internet; overly burdensome to agency

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 ESA to the Bureau of Reclaimation for a CA water project when the agency does not have the expertise like FWS does; The ESA designates FWS as implementing agency

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 ESA 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 ESA 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. 1483

Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act

March 9, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)

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 attys fees for envr law cases, inclluding ESA.

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

S. 735

State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act

March 27, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY); Sen John barrasso (R-WI)

Amends the ESA 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 Barrasso (R-WI)

Waives ESA Sect. 7 consultation for forest management activities by making NFMA consultation under 50 CFR 402 sufficient for ESA obligations

Currently being considered

H.R. 2134

Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

April 25, 2017

General attack

 

Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Strips protections from every  endangered species until Congress passed a resolution of approval, guts protections for species found only within one state’s boundaries, and eliminats the ability of citizens to submit petitions to protect species under the ESA

Currently being considered

S. 935

Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

April 25, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV); Sen. Rand Paul

Stripsprotections from every  endangered species until Congress passed a resolution of approval, guts protections for species found only within one state’s boundaries, and eliminats the ability of citizens to submit petitions to protect species under the ESA

Currently being considered

H.R. 2504

To ensure fair treatment in licensing requirements for the export of certain echinoderms

May 17, 2017

Species specific

Sea cucumber; Sea urchin

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME);  Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)

Would exempt sea urchins and cucumbers from  export licensing and licensing requirements under Sect. 9(d)(1) of the ESA

Currently being considered

H.R. 2548 (Sect. 6)

FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017

May 19, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA); Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Exempts Sect. 7 consultation for flood control activities on private land, even if these projects require a federal permit

Currently being considered

H.R. 2603

The "Saves Act"

May 23, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Amends the ESA to prevent non-native species from being protected under the Act; Unecessary since non-native species within US borders don't get listed anyways

Currently being considered

S. 1206

To ensure fair treatment in licensing requirements for the export of certain echinoderms

May 23, 2017

Species specific

Sea cucumber; Sea urchin

Sen. Angus King (D-ME)

Would exempt sea urchins and cucumbers from  export licensing and licensing requirements under Sect. 9(d)(1) of the ESA

Currently being considered

H.R. 2936

Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017

June 6, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AK)

Eliminates ESA Section 7 Consultation requirements that the Forest Service consult with FWS to ensure logging projects don’t jeopardize species; also curtails citizen access to courts

Currently being considered

H.R. 2810 (S.Amdt. 469)

Rider to the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act

June 7, 2017

Species specific

Greater sage-grouse

Rep. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Delays a potential ESA listing for the sage-grouse for at least 10 years; Transfers 60 million acres of public lands, much of which is sage grouse habitat to the states

Currently being considered

H.R. 3668

Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement ("SHARE") Act of 2017

June 7, 2017

Species specific

Gray wolf

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Reissues the 2011 and 2012 FWS rules to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; Preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

H.R. 2825 (Sect. 6007)

Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act

June 8, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

Exempts all private actions from complying with Sections 7 and 9 of the ESA in regards to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program 

Currently being considered

H.R. 2997

21st Century AIRR Act

June 22, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)

Imposes limits on critical habitat designations on or near airport property

Currently being considered

H.R. 3043

To modernize hydropower policy, and for other purposes

June 23, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Attempts to streamline the hydropower licensing process by giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
the power to evade environmental laws, including the ESA.

Currently being considered

H.R. 3131

Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act

June 29, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI)

Limits attorney's fees for successful citizen plaintiff who enforce the requirements of the ESA to protect species

Passed through Committee.

H.R. 3133

Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act of 2017

June 29, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)

Exempts take from Sect. 9 as well as Sect. 7 Consult if take is authorized for marine mammals; Also weakens the requirement under MMPA to monitor and report take/harassment and prevents a [major] alteration of design/scope/etc. of the activity in instances of take

Currently being considered

S. 1514

Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation ("HELP") Act 

June 29, 2017

Species specific

Gray wolf

Sen. John barrasso (R-WI); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Sen. Ben. Cardin (D-MD)

Reissues the 2011 and 2012 FWS rules to delist wolves the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) and Wyoming; Preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 113)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

July 11, 2017

Species specific

Sage-grouse; Columbia basin sage-grouse

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Defunds any listing or potential listing of the Sage-grouse and Columbia basin Sage-grouse

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 116)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

July 11, 2017

Species specific

Gray wolf

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Reissues the 2011 and 2012 FWS rules to delist the n Wyoming and Great Lakes region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan); Preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 117)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

July 11, 2017

Species specific

Gray wolf

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

Blocks funding for Endangered Species Act protections for all gray wolves in the lower 48 states, including Mexican gray wolves and their recovery

Currently being considered

H.R. 3548 (Sect. 120)

Border Security for America Act of 2017

July 28, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. McCaul (R-TX)

Exempts U.S. Customs and Border Protection from requirements of 36 different federal laws, including all provsions of the ESA

Currently being considered

H.R. 3565

Federal Land Freedom Act

July 28, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)

Waives federal envr requirements, including ESA and replaces them with state regulatory standards for oil & gas/development permits

Currently being considered

H.R. 3608

Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act

July 28, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Tom McKlintock (R-CA)

Requires that all data used in a listing determination under the ESA be made available on the internet, even if such data increases poaching or collecting risk to such species

Currently being considered

S. 1757

Building America's Trust Act

August 3, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. John Coryn (R-TX)

Exempts U.S. Customs and Border Protection from requirements of 36 different federal laws, including all provsions of the ESA.

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (H.Amdt. 334)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

August 25, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE); Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

Reduces the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s land acquisition account by $4,000,000 and redirects funds towards delisting efforts.

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 445)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

August 25, 2017

Species specific

Sea cucumber; Sea urchin

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (D-ME)

Exempts sea urchins and cucumbers from  export licensing and licensing requirements under Sect. 9(d)(1) of the ESA

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 458)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

August 25, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)

Delists any plant or animal species that has not undergone a periodic 5 year review (which is most of the species given FWS' backlog)

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 459)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

August 25, 2017

Species specific

Preble's jumping mouse

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)

Delists the mouse from its current listing status (funding limitation)

Currently being considered

H.R. 3354 (Sect. 461)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

August 25, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO); Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT)

Restricts fed agencies from paying legal fees for plaintiff's suits under ESA, CWA, and CAA

Currently being considered

S. 1863

Native Species Protection Act

September 26, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Hatch (R-Utah), Lee (R-Utah)

Strisp ESA protections for all species that are found in only one state (which would affect 1,099 plants and animals)

Currently being considered

H.R. 3916

Federally Integrated Species Health Act ("FISH") Act

October 3, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Calvert (R-CA)

Transfers authority of NOAA to regulate anadromous and catadromous fish species under the ESA to the FWS. (Reorganization)

Currently being considered

H.Con.Res.71 (S.Amdt. 1429)

Senate Amdt to House Budget Resolution

October 19, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Strips ESA protections for all species that are found in only one state (which would affect 1,099 plants and animals)

defeated 49-51 on the floor; not adopted

H.Con.Res.71 (S.Amdt. 1485)

Senate Amdt to House Budget Resolution

October 19, 2017

Species specific

Greater Sage-grouse

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from reconsidering the greater sage-grouse (including Columbia Basin sage-grouse) from ESA listing for at least 10 years; Would prevent the withdrawal of 10million acres of sage-grouse habitat from mineral leases

Currently being considered

S. 2068

Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act

October 23, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Barrasso (R-WY)

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. 2936 (H.Amdt 474)

Resilient Forests Act of 2017

November 1, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Steve Pearce (R- NM)

Broadly waives Section 7 consultation on the harmful effects of widespread logging activities on listed species and their habitat for projects in three national forests – the Gila, Lincoln, and Cibola

Currently being considered

H.R. 4239

SECURE American Energy Act

November 3, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Steve Scalise

Exempts take from Sect. 9 and Sect. 7 Consultation if take is authorized for marine mammals; also weakens the requirement under MMPA to monitor and report take/harassment and prevents a [major] alteration of design/scope/etc. of the activity in instances of take.

Currently being considered

Sect. 114 (Senate Chairman's mark)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

November 20, 2017

Species specific

Greater sage-grouse; Columbia basin sage-grouse

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Defunds any listing or potential listing of the Sage-grouse and Columbia basin Sage-grouse

Currently being considered

Sect. 120 (Senate Chairman's mark)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

November 20, 2017

Species specific

Gray wolf

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Reissues the 2011 and 2012 FWS rules to delist the Wyoming and Great Lakes region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan); Preempts judicial review

Currently being considered

Sect. 121 (Senate Chairman's mark)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

November 20, 2017

Species specific

Lesser prairie-chicken

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Delists the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the ESA and prevent future listings (defunding provision)

Currently being considered

Sect. 431 (Senate Chairman's mark)

Rider to Dept. of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2018

November 20, 2017

General attack

 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Legislatively undoes the Cottonwood v. USFS case; would broadly exempt Section 7 consultations for any land management plan that has already been approved prior to species listing, critical habitat designation, new information, etc.

Currently being considered

H.R. 4667 (Sect. 2029)

Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance for FY 2018

December 18, 2017

General attack

 

Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)

Exempts all private actions from complying with ESA Sections 7 and 9 of the ESA in regards to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program

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