Conserving the Nature of America
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Update Effective Date of Section 7 Final Rule under the Endangered Species Act

September 24, 2019


In its more than 45-year history, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has led to countless conservation partnerships that have helped recover some of America’s most treasured animals and plants. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries are publishing in the Federal Register a notice delaying the effective date of a final rule to revise portions of our regulations that implement section 7 of the ESA.

To ensure federal government actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species – or destroy or adversely modify their critical habitat – federal agencies must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries under Section 7 of the ESA. The revisions to the implementing regulations clarify the interagency consultation process and make it more efficient and consistent.

The revisions to the regulations clarify, interpret and implement portions of the ESA concerning interagency cooperation procedures.

Based on numerous informational webinars, meetings and briefings for internal staff and external audiences, including hundreds of state, federal, industry and other conservation partners, we have received many questions regarding implementation of the final rule.

Additional time is needed to adequately educate and train staff of the two agencies and all of the other affected federal agencies on these interagency implementing regulations.

The effective date of this final rule that published on August 27, 2019, at 84 FR 44976, is now delayed from September 26, 2019, to October 28, 2019.

For more information on the final rule, please visit:

The National Marine Fisheries Service is a part of the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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