Friday, Sept. 27, 2019
LANSING – The Kirtland’s warbler, Karner blue butterfly and Piping plover are among several species currently classified as threatened or endangered in Michigan – and Attorney General Dana Nessel this week joined 17 other Attorneys General and the City of New York in filing a lawsuit to protect them following the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the challenge argues that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service's decision to finalize three rules that undermine the key requirements and purpose of the Endangered Species Act is unlawful.
“By finalizing these rules, the federal government is not prioritizing the enhancement, restoration, or conservation of Michigan’s wildlife resources,” said Nessel. “According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan is a suitable home for 26 animal and plant species currently on their list as threatened or endangered. We must preserve these habitats to ensure that if they are not already here, there is a safe haven waiting for them. There is no way we can sit by while this administration is actively threatening the very existence of these species.”
Enacted in 1973, the Endangered Species Act is intended “to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction.” The Trump Administration’s rules would dramatically weaken current protections and reduce federal Endangered Species Act enforcement and consultation, putting these endangered species and their habitats at risk of extinction.
In the lawsuit, the coalition challenges the rules as: “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act; unauthorized under the Endangered Species Act; and, unlawful under the National Environmental Policy Act. Of specific concern are the actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to:
A list of the 26 threatened or endangered species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledges as “believed or known” to call Michigan home can be found here.
Nessel joins the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in filing this lawsuit.