Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Fox

Hundreds of species will benefit from the reinstatement of protections that were rolled back by the Trump administration. (Photo: Yuriy Chemerys/Unsplash)

'Win for Wildlife' as Federal Court Restores Endangered Species Protections Gutted by Trump

"In the midst of a global extinction crisis, the court's decision to vacate the rules will help ensure that imperiled species receive the protections they desperately need," said one advocate.

Julia Conley

Conservation groups applauded a federal district court ruling Tuesday that reinstated protections for endangered species which the Trump administration had severely weakened in 2019, calling the decision "a win for wildlife protection."

The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California "spoke for species desperately in need of comprehensive federal protections without compromise," said Kristen Boyles, an attorney at Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump-era rules on behalf of groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and Wild Earth Guardians.

"We are all impacted by biodiversity loss and combating it must be a priority."

The Trump administration angered environmental justice advocates in 2019 when it finalized a series of sweeping rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act.

Trump administration officials at that time stipulated that "potential threats to business opportunities" must be considered and shared with the public before a species is listed as endangered and reduced the number of habitats set aside for vulnerable wildlife, among other rules.

Once in office, Biden administration officials including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service filed a remand motion in response to the lawsuit asking the court to allow them to partially rewrite former President Donald Trump's rules while keeping the rest of the order broadly in place. 

In his Tuesday decision, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar ruled that the regulations should be vacated instead.

Tigar's ruling will help resolve "an unlawful and irrational mess that undermined critical protections for wildlife," said Karimah Schoenhut, an attorney for the Sierra Club.

"In the midst of a global extinction crisis, the court's decision to vacate the rules will help ensure that imperiled species receive the protections they desperately need," Schoenhut added.

The Biden administration will now have "a clean slate to safeguard hundreds of species amidst the ongoing extinction crisis" instead of adhering to "unscientific and illegal Trump rules," said Mike Senatore, vice president of conservation law for Defenders of Wildlife.

"We are all impacted by biodiversity loss and combating it must be a priority," he added.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·


Greta Thunberg Joins 630+ Young People in Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Sweden

"The Swedish state fails to meet the constitutional requirement to promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations," said the plaintiffs.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo