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The USFWS could petition for the listing of the Bumblebee under the ESA

The USFWS could petition for the listing of the Bumblebee under the ESA

Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says

A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in California last week could potentially open the door for bumblebees to be classified as a ‘protected fish’ under state law.

By the end of July, the bee species in question — Bombus impatiens, otherwise known as the Bumblebee — could be placed on the ‘further consideration’ list, which is meant to be used in cases of species that could become endangered.

Under a proposed law, the USFWS is allowed to submit a formal response to a state’s request by Sept. 18. Once it’s done, the state will be able to choose whether to pursue listing of the species that it’s currently pursuing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The USFWS can use the ‘further consideration’ clause to petition for the listing of the Bumblebee under the ESA.

If the agency does decide to move forward with its petition, the petition must be submitted with supporting data.

Under the terms of the law, the USFWS would have 30 days to respond to the state in writing. At that point, the state would be able to choose whether or not to file for a ‘further consideration’ listing.

The ESA would only be considered as a last resort, and the USFWS would have to provide the data behind why the species is endangered to support listing, meaning petitioning for listing with supporting data is a two-step process.

In California, the proposed law is one that was put forth in a bipartisan bill approved by the state’s legislature in 2009.

The bill’s lead author, State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo County), said he did not believe the designation as a protected species should necessarily be open for a lawsuit.

He said a lawsuit could open the door for the federal government to make use of the ‘further consideration’ provision or the ‘endangered

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