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Listing and Critical Habitat | National Listing Workplan
Photo credit: Kevin Enge, FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
In order to provide the best possible conservation for our nation's imperiled species, we developed a National Listing Workplan (Workplan) for addressing Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing and critical habitat decisions throughout the next seven years.
Our priority is to administer a strong and effective ESA. The Workplan enables us to prioritize our workload based on the needs of candidate and petitioned species, while providing greater clarity and predictability about the timing of listing determinations to state wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations, and other diverse stakeholders and partners, with the goal of encouraging proactive conservation so that federal protections are not needed in the first place. The Workplan represents the conservation priorities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) based on our review of scientific information.
A species' inclusion in this workplan does not mean it is going to be listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. That determination would be made following a rigorous scientific assessment of the species status to determine whether it meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species. If we determine the species warrants listing, we would need to undertake the appropriate rule-making process before a species receives ESA protections. Our rule-making process requires public comment and scientific peer review before any action is finalized.
In the event that a petitioned species warrants ESA protections, we will seek to issue a listing proposal, rather than adding the species to the candidate list, and will endeavor to simultaneously propose critical habitat designations. Following proposals, the Service plans to issue final rules within statutory deadlines.
Updating the Workplan
The Workplan will be updated regularly to reflect our consideration of new information over time. The Service will also periodically report progress under the Workplan. As the Service works through the current Workplan, it will add new species to forecast priorities and upcoming status reviews a minimum of five years out. Providing this predictability and transparency to stakeholders creates opportunity for proactive conservation efforts that conserve species without needing the ESA's safety net.
The Workplan is designed to be mostly static in nature to meet our objective of providing predictability; however, the Service recognizes that adjustments will need to be made to incorporate new work and information. Such adjustments will be made with the following in mind:
- Our intent is to always provide the public with a projection of our workload for a minimum of five years into the future.
- Species with new "substantial" 90-day findings will be assigned a bin number (in coordination with states and others with relevant information) according to our methodology for prioritizing 12-month findings.
- Critically imperiled species (Bin 1) will be incorporated into the Workplan as soon as possible.
- Remaining species will be incorporated into the Workplan according to their bin number if feasible, or added to the back end of the Workplan if not.
View or download our 7-Year Listing Workplan [237KB].
View our lisitng workload [139KB] for fiscal year 2017.
View our unscheduled listing actions [145KB].
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