Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove federal protections under the Endangered Species Act for the Apache trout, deeming it a restored species since initial listing in 1967, when it was included among the first species listed in the “Class of ’67.” Defenders of Wildlife hails the proposed delisting of the threatened Apache trout as another success story as we celebrate 50 years of the Endangered Species Act.   

“There are 30 verified self-sustaining populations of pure Apache trout in the wild for the first time in decades, which can be credited to dedicated habitat management, introduction of captive bred fish, and collaborative conservation efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, White Mountain Apache Tribe, state of Arizona, and U.S. Forest Service,” said Andrew Carter, Defenders’ director of conservation policy at its Center for Conservation Innovation. “The ESA, again, proves to be one of our strongest tools to protect wildlife and wild places.”  

The Apache trout was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act’s due to overexploitation, habitat degradation from agriculture and mining industries and conflict and hybridization with nonnative species. In 1975, after the ESA was established, it was downlisted to threatened.   

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.


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