The second term of the Obama administration witnessed a significant evolution in how federal resource agencies would evaluate and mitigate the impacts of government-sanctioned development with the potential for environmental impacts. The progression began slowly, with subtle direction to ensure that federally permitted infrastructure projects were designed to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts (see Executive Order 13604), and it culminated in the visionary November 3, 2015 Presidential Memorandum on Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment (Presidential Memorandum). Several initiatives to reorient how federal agencies manage natural resources to achieve better outcomes followed, but barely two months into the Trump administration the groundwork has been laid to erase it all.
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