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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released an updated agenda for making regulatory changes to its wildlife programs under the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The updated agenda identifies anticipated actions in 2023, such as proposed or final rules, that would change permitting and compliance processes for our big three wildlife laws. 


Enhancement and Survival and Incidental Take Permits (ITPs): Revisions to regulations that implement Section 10 of the ESA and authorize take for non-federal actions

Incidental Take of Migratory Birds: Clarifying that incidental take of migratory birds that results from but is not the purpose of an activity is prohibited under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and introducing a new permit program to authorize incidental take of migratory birds

  • Notice of Proposed Rule Making anticipated March 2023
  • Final Rule anticipated November 2023

Interagency Cooperation (Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act [ESA]): Revise portions of the regulations published in August 2019, that implement Section 7 of the ESA

Regulations for Federally Listing and Delisting Species and Designating Critical Habitat: Procedures, criteria, and language clarification on listing/delisting and designation of critical habitat

  • Proposed Rule anticipated June 2023

Regulations for Prohibitions to Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Section 4(d) of the ESA): Extending protective regulations including take prohibitions for species classified as “threatened”

  • Notice of Proposed Rule Making anticipated June 2023

Compensatory Mitigation Mechanisms: New policy on mitigation defining objectives, standards, and criteria for species conservation banks and other forms of mitigation

  • Notice of Proposed Rule Making anticipated June 2023

Incidental Take Permits for Eagles and Eagle Nests: New general permits with streamlined processing; new allowed reason for bald eagle nest take; revised definitions for “eagle nest” and “in-use nest,” new explicit definition for “incidental take”



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Reach out to your project manager or to one of SWCA’s regulatory specialists for more information, insights, and strategies to keep your projects on track.

  • pkroberts [at] swca [dot] com (Pauline Roberts) | Natural Resources Technical Director - Southern California
  • aglen [at] swca [dot] com (Amanda Glen) | Natural Resources Technical Director - Biological Services
  • stephanie [dot] graham [at] swca [dot] com (Stephanie Graham) | Senior Wildlife Biologist, Great Basin 
  • kwabnitz [at] swca [dot] com (Kely Wabnitz) | Senior Project Manager, Midwest/Northeast 
  • nsmolensky [at] swca [dot] com (Nicole Smolensky) | Lead Biologist, South Central/Gulf Coast