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AG Nessel Applauds Court Decision Vacating Rollbacks to Endangered Species Act

LANSING – After Michigan joined a multistate lawsuit challenging certain regulation changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which were made under the Trump administration, a federal judge has vacated the rules entirely. 

In 2019, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined other attorneys general around the country to challenge certain ESA rules the administration announced to scale back protections on endangered and threatened species. 

At the time, the coalition argued the rules would dramatically weaken protections and reduce federal ESA enforcement, thus putting endangered species and their habitats at risk of extinction. 

In part, Tuesday’s decision restores protections for species that are newly listed or reclassified as threatened, reverses changes that made it harder to list a species as threatened, and enables federal agencies to more effectively designate critical habitat for threatened or endangered species.  

“As a state with more than two dozen animal and plant species that are considered endangered or threatened, I applaud this ruling and its positive impact on conservation efforts not just in Michigan but around the country,” Nessel said. “We must continue to prioritize protection of Michigan’s natural resources, including vulnerable wildlife populations.” 

The full order can be found online