US officials seek limits on “habitat” for imperiled species

By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to define what land and water can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals – potentially excluding areas that species could use in the future. The proposal to be announced Friday and obtained in advance by The Associated Press for the first time defines “habitat” for purposes of enforcing the Endangered Species Act. The proposal could have broad implications on how far the government has to go to protect plants and animals sliding toward extinction. Legal observers said the two-sentence definition would limit the areas that officials can designate as critical to a species’ survival.