FWS and NMFS Seek Comment on Updates to the Definition of “Habitat” in Designating Critical Habitat
On August 5, 2020 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) published a proposed rule to revise the definition of habitat with respect to critical habitat designations. The proposal offers a regulatory definition for habitat as it is not previously defined in the rules in response to a recent Supreme Court decision. The proposed definition states that habitat is defined as, “The physical places that individuals of a species depend upon to carry out one or more life processes. Habitat includes areas with existing attributes that have the capacity to support individuals of the species.” The Services also offer an alternate definition and are seeking comments on both. Written comments are due by September 4, 2020.