Massive new ESA listings ahead under recent Justice Department settlement

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On July 12, 2011 FWS entered into a settlement with two environmental groups that, according to FWS, will reshape the process of listing species under the Endangered Species Act. The settlement requires FWS to take action on pending petitions for 757 different species over the next seven years, and provides a schedule each year in which listing petitions will be acted on. Each listing decision remains open to challenge under the Administrative procedure Act after it is made.

Although FWS is free not to list a species in the review process, it is obvious that this Settlement will result in a massive uptick in the listing of species — in the forty years since ESA was passed, only 2,000 species have been listed.

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