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Federal agencies reverse Trump limits on habitat protection

By JOHN FLESHER
AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Biden administration is dropping a rule adopted under former President Donald Trump that limited which lands and waters could be designated as critical habitat for imperiled animals and plants.

The government wrote a definition of “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act shortly before Trump left office.

It prevented federal agencies from selecting areas for protection that don’t presently meet a species’ needs — even if those places might be suitable in the future because of restoration work or natural changes.

Biden administration officials say the definition limited agencies’ ability to make habitat protection decisions based on science.

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The Associated Press

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