On September 22, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that it will review the status of the wood stork under the Endangered Species Act in response to a petition filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation and Biological Research Associates on behalf of the Florida Home Builders' Association seeking reclassification of the stork.
The Service is seeking "scientific and commercial" data and information concerning the wood stork throughout its range in the United States by November 22, 2010. Based upon its review, the Service must make one of three findings:
- reclassification is not warranted;
- reclassification from endangered species to threatened species is warranted after a rule - making process occurs; or
- reclassification is warranted but precluded by other, higher priority actions.
While environmental advocacy groups may not agree with the proposed reclassification, the change in status, if approved by FWS, would reflect the wood stork's recovery.