BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Wednesday joined a coalition of18 attorneys general and the City of New York in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The attorneys general of Maryland, California, and Massachusetts lead the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The challenge argues that the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to finalize three rules that undermine the key requirements and purpose of the Endangered Species Act is unlawful.
“The Trump Administration is waging war on the ESA’s decades of success, undoing protections that have saved many kinds of wildlife and preserved millions of acres of critical habitat,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Deciding whether to protect endangered species is not an economic question. These decisions must be guided by science, not by profits and political influence.”
Enacted under the Nixon Administration in 1973, the ESA is intended to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction.
Currently, the ESA protects more than 1,600 plant and animal species in the United States and its territories, and millions of acres of land have been designated as critical habitat to allow for species conservation. Ninety-nine percent of species protected by the ESA have avoided extinction. In Maryland, there are 13 animals and 8 plants listed as endangered or threatened under the Act.
In addition to Maryland, the suit was joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York.