Ben Rubin

Ben Rubin

Nossaman LLP

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Federal Government Proposes Revisions to Endangered Species Act Regulations

While a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills continue to wind their way through Congress (see our May 6, 2015 post), Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)...more

5/19/2015 - Center for Biological Diversity Critical Habitat Delisting Endangered Species Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan National Marine Fisheries Service

Citing Conservation Plan and $45 Million in Funding, FWS Concludes Listing for Bi-State Population of Greater Sage Grouse is...

While the larger controversy is far from over, for the California and Nevada populations of the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), the controversy does appear to be put to rest. In 2013, the U.S. Fish and...more

4/23/2015 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Regulation

Federal Court Strikes Down HCP: No Piggybacks Under Section 10

While decisions dealing with lawsuits alleging violations of section 7 or section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are rather common, it is far less common for courts to address suits under section 10. In fact, in any...more

4/14/2015 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Incidental Take Permits National Marine Fisheries Service NOAA Section 10

Federal Court Strikes Down Habitat Conservation Plan and Biological Opinion for Logging Project in Northern California

On April 3, 2015, a federal district court in California put the brakes on a proposed logging project, invalidating a habitat conservation plan and incidental take permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and...more

4/14/2015 - Conservation Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Incidental Take Permits Logging NOAA

When Uncertainty Surrounds California Solar Project, Court Defers to Agency Not Tortoise

Project opponents have been invoking the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with increasing regularity in an attempt to block the construction of large-scale renewable energy projects. ...more

4/7/2015 - Construction Industry Endangered Species Act Energy Projects Fish and Wildlife Service Renewable Energy Solar Energy

Agencies Must Aim for Recovery of the Species When Designating Critical Habitat

In a decision issued earlier this week, a U.S. District Court rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) interpretation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), finding that its interpretation of the critical habitat...more

3/27/2015 - Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service Statutory Interpretation

Can Comments By a Federal Employee Result in a Taking Requiring Compensation Under the Fifth Amendment?

It depends. A recent decision out of the Federal Circuit tackled this very issue, and the court’s decision strongly suggests that a taking could arise under the right circumstances. (Filler v. U.S. (Fed. Cir. Mar. 10, 2015)...more

3/17/2015 - Defamation Federal Employees Fifth Amendment Inverse Condemnation Just Compensation National Marine Fisheries Service Online Reviews Takings Clause Tortious Interference

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take a Second Look at Takings Case

The burning question, is why? While this is not the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has ever granted a petition for review in the same case, it is certainly not common. And, it is downright uncommon for the Supreme Court...more

2/19/2015 - Affirmative Defenses Enforcement Actions Horne v USDA Legal History SCOTUS Takings USDA

A Closer Look At T-Mobile V. Roswell

On Jan. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell, holding that the city violated the "in writing" requirement of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47...more

2/4/2015 - Cell Towers Municipalities Operational Permits SCOTUS Substantial Evidence Standard T-Mobile South v City of Roswell Telecommunications Act of 1996 Written Notice

U.S. Supreme Court Holds in Favor of Cell Tower Siting Applicants

On January 14, the U.S. Supreme Court in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, held that the City of Roswell ("City") violated the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) (the "Telecommunications...more

1/19/2015 - Cell Phones Municipalities Operational Permits Permits SCOTUS Substantial Evidence Standard T-Mobile T-Mobile South v City of Roswell Telecommunications Telecommunications Act of 1996

Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,...more

1/8/2015 - Access To Justice Attorney's Fees Bureau of Land Management Environmental Assessments FLPMA NEPA

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Coastal Act Decision with Takings Implications

In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions “under protest” and expressly...more

12/23/2014 - Building Permits California Coastal Commission Coastal Real Estate Petitions for Review Public Access Laws

Endangered Species Act Roundup – Three For the Price of One

Although there were some notable downperiods when it came to Endangered Species Act news over the past twelve months, the past few weeks have been anything but slow. Below are a few of the more recent newsworthy items that...more

12/17/2014 - Endangered Species Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice Period Doesn't Cause 9th Circ. To Pause on ESA

The decision by the Ninth Circuit in Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. U.S. Dep't of Agriculture, No. 13-35253 (9th Cir. Nov. 20, 2014), permitting plaintiffs to amend a complaint to add claims under the federal Endangered...more

12/15/2014 - Amended Complaints Department of Agriculture Endangered Species Act Notice of Intent

This Proposed Rulemaking Should be Mandatory Reading for All Public Transportation Agencies

On November 24, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a proposed rule that would amend the regulations governing how Federal grant recipients acquire, manage, and dispose of real property. Thus, the...more

12/2/2014 - Federal Grants Federal Highway Administration Government Entities Highways Infrastructure Proposed Regulation Public Projects Public Property

Ninth Circuit Lifts the Veil: Explains How to Comply With Endangered Species Act 60-Day Notice Requirement

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) imposes certain procedural hurdles on any would-be plaintiff commencing a citizen suit to compel compliance with the ESA. One of the more substantive requirements is the 60-day notice...more

11/26/2014 - Citizen Suits Endangered Species Act Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Parks NEPA NFMA Notice Requirements Pre-Suit Notice Written Notice

Opponents of Arena Project Foul Out

On November 20, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal (Court) handed a partial victory to the City of Sacramento (City), rejecting petitioners' appeal and thereby authorizing the continued construction of the Sacramento...more

11/25/2014 - Appeals CEQA Construction Industry Construction Project Environmental Impact Report Public Resources Code

Federal Court States Rationale for U.S. Take of California Land a “Sham”

The question now is, is the court’s statement merely a bump in the road or a roadblock? The United States filed the eminent domain action seeking to condemn certain access rights so it could increase its profitability when...more

11/14/2014 - Affirmative Defenses Condemnation Eminent Domain Government Land GSA Takings

Utah Court Bucks the Trend: Holds Congress Lacks Power to Regulate Intrastate Species on Private Land

Contrary to every federal court of appeal decision that has addressed the issue, a federal court in Utah has held that the broad authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to regulate "take" of threatened...more

11/12/2014 - ESA Fish and Wildlife Service Jurisdiction Private Land Property Owners Takings

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for Cuckoo Critical Habitat

As we reported in October, after significant pressure from Congress, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its intent to re-open the public comment period on its proposal to designate 546,335 acres of...more

11/12/2014 - Critical Habitat Fish and Wildlife Service Public Comment

NMFS Finds Listing Not Warranted for Queen Conch

On November 5, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a 12-month finding for the queen conch (Strombus gigas), concluding that the species prized for its meat and shell does not warrant listing because it is “not...more

11/7/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings National Marine Fisheries Service

Coastal Commission’s Public Access Easement Found to Be A Taking

In a published decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District rejected the California Coastal Commission’s (“Commission”) finding that there is no rational nexus or rough proportionality between...more

11/4/2014 - Appeals California Coastal Commission Coastal Real Estate Easements Land-Use Permits Public Access Laws Sierra Club SurfRider Takings

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for Cuckoo Under Pressure from Congress

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will re-open the public comment period on its proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed...more

10/16/2014 - Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

Service Proposes to List Fisher DPS As Threatened

On October 6, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a news release announcing its proposal to list the West Coast Distinct Population Segment (West Coast DPS) of fisher (Pekanian pennanti) as threatened under...more

10/9/2014 - Endangered Species ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service Marijuana Cultivation

Court Holds Lack of Specificity Dooms Wyoming Wolf Delisting

On September 23, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the final rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) delisting the Wyoming Gray Wolf distinct population segment from...more

9/25/2014 - Endangered Species Endangered Species Act ESA Listings Fish and Wildlife Service

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