Two new rules and a draft policy were proposed May 12, 2014, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service that would impact the designations of “critical habitat” for endangered and threatened species.

The first rule would broaden the definition of “destruction or adverse modification” of critical habitat in agency consultations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The second rule would change procedures and criteria for designating critical habitat.  The draft policy provides guidance on agency decisions to exclude lands from a critical habitat designation.