Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tom Strickland Announces Appointment of Renowned Wildlife Law Expert Michael Bean as Counselor

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland today announced the appointment of renowned wildlife law expert Michael Bean as counselor.

Bean comes to the Department of the Interior from the Environmental Defense Fund, where he had directed the fund's wildlife conservation policy initiatives since 1977 and most recently served as co-director of its Center for Conservation Incentives. He is the author of The Evolution of National Wildlife Law,generally considered to be the definitive text on the subject of wildlife conservation law in the United States.

At the Environmental Defense Fund, Bean worked in close partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to spearhead development of the nation's first “Safe Harbor” agreements for threatened and endangered species.

“Michael Bean is one of the world's leading thinkers on wildlife conservation, an innovator who has consistently found new and better ways to help conserve and protect imperiled species across the nation. His leadership and guidance will immeasurably improve the Department of the Interior's stewardship of fish and wildlife resources, and I'm honored that he has agreed to join our team,” said Strickland.

Safe Harbor is a unique agreement where private landowners volunteer to work in partnership with government and non-government agencies to help ensure the survival of imperiled wildlife, plants and fish. Since the Safe Harbor program was first created, nearly 400 landowners have signed up to be part of 74 Safe Harbor agreements in 22 states and one U.S. territory. This has protected more than 4.3 million acres of habitat for 74 imperiled species.

The Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks oversees both the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. Bean joins the Assistant Secretary's team, which also includes Deputy Assistant Secretaries Will Shafroth and Jane Lyder.

In his new role as counselor, Bean will advise the Assistant Secretary on endangered species policy and actions, as well as other wildlife policy issues. His extensive experience in developing incentives for private landowners and support for innovative strategies to achieve results for imperiled species will be invaluable as the department implements the Obama Administration's conservation agenda.

In addition to his work at EDF, Bean has authored numerous articles on wildlife protection and wildlife law, and served as a consultant to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Council on Environmental Quality. He holds a law degree from Yale University and is a former editor of the Yale Law Journal.

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