Conservation

News & Analysis as of

Florida's Amendment 1: Water and Land Conservation Funding Passed by Voters - The 20-Year Program Will Generate Almost $20 Billion...

Florida's Water and Land Conservation Initiative that dedicates billions of dollars to conservation over the next 20 years was ratified by the voters by a wide margin. Voters in all parts of the state and across the political...more

New Conservation Mandate Will Apply to Specialty Crops: Producers Must File by June 1, 2015

An overlooked provision in the new Farm Bill will soon be getting more attention from specialty crop farmers as they begin purchasing insurance for next year’s crops. Under “conservation compliance,” all producers must now...more

Indiana Property Tax Exemptions: Church Permitted To File Letter In Lieu Of Application; Trade Association Failed To Prove Split...

Church properly used letter of notification (and not official application) to claim exemption; previously granted exemption rolled forward. The Indiana Board of Tax Review applied a 100% property tax exemption to a church...more

The Water Values Podcast: Rolling Out AMI in San Francisco with Alison Kastama and Heather Pohl (Part 1) [Video]

Alison Kastama, a communication manager with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Heather Pohl, a project manager at SFPUC for the Automated Water Meter Program, join The Water Values Podcast for the...more

Comment Period Extended on Expansion of Critical Habitat Rules

The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that they are extending the deadline for comments on new critical habitat rules from July 11 to October 9, 2014. The...more

Department of Conservation Issues Revised, Proposed Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On June 13, 2014, the Department of Conservation (“Department”) issued a public notice and posted the latest version of the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (“Revised Proposed...more

RAD expansion and “Pay-For-Success” Utility Demonstration among the innovations included in the Senate’s mark of the T-HUD...

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2015. While the bill generally falls short of the funding...more

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San...more

SJC Upholds Charitable Property Tax Exemption for Land Conservation Organization

On May 15, the Supreme Judicial Court released its opinion in New England Forestry Foundation v. Hawley, ruling that a 120-acre parcel of forest land owned by the Foundation in the Town of Hawley was eligible for the...more

Finding Win-Win Outcomes For Conservation And Utilization

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or MSA, governs marine fisheries management in federal waters of the United States. The statute's purpose is to conserve and manage fisheries resources to rebuild...more

In Landmark Ruling, Massachusetts SJC Upholds Tax Exemption for Charitable Conservation Land

On May 15, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued a landmark decision, New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley, SJC-11432 (May 15, 2014), upholding the tax exempt status of...more

Massachusetts Land Trusts Breath a Collective Sigh of Relief: The SJC Rules That There Is No Requirement to Promote Public Access...

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ruled that land trusts or other charities which own and preserve conservation land may take advantage of a state tax exemption on such land even if they do not affirmatively...more

Court Upholds Approvals for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project

Trial Court Validates Agreements and Plans for Large Public-Private Water Project and Approves CEQA Review - The Orange County Superior Court last week issued rulings rejecting all six challenges to the environmental...more

Dry Times: How to Deal with the Impact of California’s Drought on Critical Commercial Agreements

On January 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a “State of Emergency” in California due to the severity of drought conditions across the State. Since then, the California drought continues to be severe and...more

California Court Recognizes Conservation Exception To Fully Protected Species Law

On an issue of first impression, a California court has created a judicial exception to the “take” prohibition in the state’s fully protected species statutes. On March 20, 2014, the California Court of Appeal held that the...more

Should Corporations Conserve Water Because A Shareholder Believes It’s The Right Thing To Do?

Last month, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) sent a letter to its California real estate and private equity managers asking that they take a number of steps to conserve water. I found CalPERS’...more

SJC Case Could Result in Loss of Property Tax Exemptions for Certain Conservation Land

A property tax dispute involving a $172 property tax on conservation land owned by The New England Forestry Foundation (the “Foundation”) in the Town of Hawley could impact land conservation organizations throughout the...more

Natural Gas Power Saves Texas Water, May Reduce Drought Risk

A recent study by researchers Bridget Scanlon, Ian Duncan and Robert C. Reedy of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas-Austin found that the state of Texas consumed less water as a result of using natural...more

Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Draft EIR Released for Public Comment: Greatest Habitat Restoration Plan Ever or Pork Barrel...

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), an ecosystem plan designed to restore habitat and help endangered fish species recover while also keeping water flowing to customers through construction of the proposed water tunnel...more

Environmental Hearing Board Charts Jurisdictional Course through Murky Waters of Pennsylvania’s Arcane Conservation Law

On November 20, 2013, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) provided a compass for operators interested in applying for compulsory pooling orders with respect to oil and gas resources below the Onondaga Horizon....more

Devil's Isle Detail: An Overview of the Laws Regulating Bermuda's Marine Environment

The report is based on a pro bono survey provided to the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice in connection with its Coral Reef Project. The objective of the Coral Reef Project is to produce a best practices...more

Working Group Holds Congressional Forum On ESA Reform, Despite Absence Of Environmental Groups

On October 10, 2013, the Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group (Working Group) held a forum entitled “Reviewing 40 Years of the Endangered Species Act and Seeking Improvement for People and Species.” The forum...more

New Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Setback Rules Likely to Increase Backlog of Permit Applications

On August 1, 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission adopted new setback regulations that threaten to increase the backlog of permit applications at the Commission....more

Conservation Groups Petition EPA To Require Stormwater Permits At Existing New England Sites

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and other environmental groups recently filed petitions urging EPA New England, along with other EPA offices in the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest, to use EPA’s Residual Designation Authority...more

Washington Legislature Passes Significant Changes To The Model Toxics Control Act

During the waning hours of the legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296 (SSB 5296) by large majorities and Governor Inslee signed the bill without changes. ...more

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