American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall has commented on the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposal to reverse two critical habitat regulations finalized last December.

“America’s farmers and ranchers care for the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with and support common-sense reforms to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) implementation. We were pleased to see reforms to these regulations during the past few years. 

“AFBF is now equally disappointed that in the space of three weeks, the Biden administration has proposed three different changes to these regulations, signaling a return to complicated and burdensome rules that do little to advance conservation goals. Farmers and ranchers are facing continued challenges from the pandemic, supply chain issues, labor shortages, drought in the West and significant cost increases in operating their farms. Adding uncertainty to environmental regulations creates another obstacle for farmers as they work to keep America’s pantries stocked.

“AFBF and state Farm Bureaus—including Montana Farm Bureau—will remain engaged on ESA issues, and we encourage farmers and ranchers to share their stories during the proposed rule change comment period to let the administration know we should continue moving forward toward conservation goals, not backward.”