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A New Trump Rule Could Shrink Protected Habitat For Endangered Wildlife

“The Trump administration adopted a rule Tuesday that could shrink the historic habitats of plants and animals threatened with extinction, an action that opponents say will make it more difficult for them to recover.

On their way out of office, the directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service established a rule that changed the definition of what determines a habitat under the Endangered Species Act. It was the second major rollback the administration has made to the signature wildlife protection law.

Under the new definition, only “critical habitat” that can sustain the species in question can be protected, as opposed to a broader habitat the plant or animal might one day occupy if it is suitable.”

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post December 15, 2020.