Last month. I posted about the Rusty Patch Bumblebee being added to the endangered species list with a recovery plan from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The FWS finalized the plan before the Trump administration took office. However, the plan start date is February 10, 2017. As is often the case, new administrations will freeze regulations that are not yet effective. Mr Trump issued a memorandum freezing work on all new regulations that were not finalized and temporarily postponed the effective date for implementation of finalized rules for 60 days. This means the plan could be postponed until March 21.
The relevant parts of the memorandum that apply to the FWS Bumblebee Protection Plan are:
1) With respect to regulations that have been published in the [Federal Register] but have not taken effect, as permitted by applicable law, temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days from the date of this memorandum … for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy they raise.
2) ….consider postponing the effective date beyond 60 days where appropriate.
3) if during your review you determine a regulation raises no substantial question of fact, law, or policy, please provide your … a list of such regulations on which you plan to take no further action no later than two weeks prior to the postponed effective date for those regulations.
4) Alternately, if you determine a regulation raises a substantial question of fact, law, or policy, please … consider whether you agency should perform additional rulemaking or take other further actions.
The plan has been postponed for review and a political decision will be made.
1) The Administration will disapprove the plan and work to reverse it.
2) The Administration will approve the plan and allow it to go forward.
3) The Administration will not approve the plan but considers it too much work to reverse and allows it to go forward.
We should know the decision by Spring 2017.