Group Sues Feds for Delaying Bumblebee’s Endangered Listing

This 2012 photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota. Federal officials said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, that the rusty patched bumblebee has become the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering a dramatic population decline over the past 20 years. (Sarina Jepsen/The Xerces Society via AP)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – An environmental group is suing the Trump administration for delaying an endangered-species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says the U.S. Department of Interior broke the law by postponing the listing without public notice and comment. It was scheduled to take effect Feb. 10, but one day before that, the department put off the effective date until March 21 because of the administration’s temporary freeze on new regulations.

Rebecca Riley, attorney for the environmental group, said Tuesday the bee is headed toward extinction and there’s no legitimate reason for the holdup.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in New York City.

The department had no immediate comment but said last week the move wasn’t expected to affect conservation efforts for the bumblebee.

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