Attorney General Todd Rokita is taking measures against federal plans to unlawfully expand the scope of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — a move that would hurt everyday Hoosiers by putting builders, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts and others under the thumb of a distant bureaucracy.

The proposed rules would enable the Fish and Wildlife Service to designate land parcels as indispensable habitat for endangered species — even if no such species inhabit the parcels.

“We all want to save endangered wildlife,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And we all want to preserve the critical habitat where they live. As it turns out, these new rules don’t protect wildlife — and they literally violate the Endangered Species Act.”

In a letter, Attorney General Rokita and other state attorneys general press federal officials to withdraw their ill-advised plans which will potentially put local businesses in peril.

“We are taking action because these proposed new rules represent a power grab,” Attorney General Rokita said. “These new rules infringe on Indiana’s constitutional authority over our own natural resources and fail to provide additional meaningful protection to endangered wildlife species.”

Attorney General Rokita has a long history of defending Hoosiers and the Indiana economy against federal overreach in matters involving habitat and wildlife.

“If these regulations were to go into effect, the businesses and economy of places like the Twin Lakes would be in greater danger,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Look what the current regulations have done to contribute to draconian actions that have ruined the local economy during some years.”

When he served in Congress, Attorney General Rokita fought federal policies that forced the draining of Lake Freeman and Lake Shafer in northwestern Indiana as part of U.S. Fish and Wildlife efforts to protect endangered mussels in Tippecanoe River. Such federal mandates wreaked havoc on the seasonal economies of Monticello and surrounding communities.

“We need commonsense policies that conserve both wildlife species and constitutional government,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We can protect jobs, the economy and wildlife all at the same time.”