BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney
General Jeff Landry today announced that a lawsuit filed by Louisiana and 19
other states has resulted in the federal government agreeing to reconsider
rules restricting property owners use of land.
The suit concerned a revision of the definitions of “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). General Landry and the other States asserted the revised ESA regulations unlawfully expanded the government's authority to designate areas as critical habitat.
“As these rules intrude on the private property rights of Louisiana citizens, I am proud of our team's work to reach this conclusion,” said General Landry. “Our office will continue to do all we can to fight federal overreach.”
In 2016, federal agencies adopted two new rules that allowed the federal government to designate land as “critical habitat” for an endangered species - even if that species did not presently live on that land and even if the land did not possess the biological features necessary for the survival of the species.
In November 2016, States filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Alabama, U.S. District Court challenging the two rules as an unlawful federal overreach. Today, that suit resulted in a settlement requiring the federal agencies to submit revised rules for public review within 60 days and retains the States ability to file another lawsuit should the new rules perpetuate the federal overreach.
States joining Louisiana in the settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.