"TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Biden administration called for regulatory changes Wednesday to encourage voluntary conservation projects on private land, partly by shielding owners from punishment if their actions kill or harm small numbers of imperiled species.
The proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule outlines steps to simplify permitting for damage that otherwise would be illegal under the Endangered Species Act. The Associated Press obtained details on the proposal prior to its public release.
To qualify, landowners take steps that would benefit declining species, including pollinators such as bumblebees and monarch butterflies.
The idea is to make landowners allies rather than adversaries as climate change, urban sprawl and other trends jeopardize more animals and plants. The United Nations says up to 1 million species could go extinct worldwide, many in the next few decades."
John Flesher and Matthew Brown report for the Associated Press February 7, 2023.