Government agencies expand definition of ‘critical habitat’

By |  February 25, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and National Marine Fisheries Service expanded the definition of “critical habitat” from “an area occupied by species at the time it is listed” to include areas that a species may occupy in the future due to climate change or other factors.

According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), the final rules on Definition Destruction or Adverse Modification of Critical Habitat and Rule for Designating Critical Habitat are similar to draft rules released and commented by NSSGA in 2014.

“Members should be aware that these changes could cause an increase in a habitat’s areal extent, necessitating stringent mitigation measures, should a habitat designation include their property,” says Emily Coyner, NSSGA environmental services director.

NSSGA adds that it will closely monitor the implementation of these rules.

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