Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 12, 2023

Contact:

Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495, ngreenwald@biologicaldiversity.org

Biden’s Mediocre Mitigation Policy Skimps on Habitat Protection for Rare Wildlife

Nation’s Endangered Species Need Ambitious Action

WASHINGTON— The Biden administration issued a mitigation policy today that will guide how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reduces and offsets harms to endangered species when reviewing federal actions and projects.

Unlike an Obama-era policy requiring that mitigation result in a net habitat gain for endangered species, today’s policy merely requires no “net loss.”

“As the extinction crisis builds, it’s shocking to see the Fish and Wildlife Service passing up a crucial chance to save wetlands and other wild places,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Most endangered species can’t afford to lose any habitat. At best, this policy keeps species in a perilous state of endangerment. It’s unambitious and unacceptable.”

As with the creation or restoration of wetlands, creating new endangered species habitat often doesn’t work. As such, a no net loss policy is essentially a fiction and in many if not most cases, endangered species will continue to lose habitat. A net gain requirement would have compensated for this shortcoming by requiring more acres to be restored and protected than are destroyed.

“This policy continues the Biden administration’s disappointing performance on the environment,” said Greenwald. “In the face of the climate catastrophe and the extinction crisis, the administration’s performance, including at the Fish and Wildlife Service under Martha William’s leadership, has been less than underwhelming.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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