Conservation

News & Analysis as of

Projecting the Future: Court Upholds Listing for Bearded Seals - Ninth Circuit Decision Based on Projections of Climate Change...

In Alaska Oil & Gas Ass'n v. Pritzker, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld a rule listing two species of seals as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) based on climate change...more

USFWS Initiates Status Review for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) recently published a positive 90-day finding on a petition to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and three distinct population segments as endangered...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Concludes Iliamna Lake Harbor Seals Are Not Distinct Population, Denies Endangered Species Act...

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently completed its review of the status of eastern North Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) in Iliamna Lake, Alaska, a large freshwater lake in Alaska connected to...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Adds Ten Species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Updates the Listings of Five...

On November 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule adding ten species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and updating the listings of five other species. Of the ten new...more

Wolverine Status Review Reinitiated

The distinct population segment of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulf luscus) has had a long and difficult history with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, things appeared to be changing in 2013, when, after...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies U.S. Forest Service’s Petition for Review in Canadian Lynx Case

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the U.S. Forest Service’s (“Forest Service”) petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Cottonwood Environmental...more

Energy Bill Goes to Conference

On September 8, House and Senate conferees met for the first time to consider the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016, the comprehensive energy reform bill that has slowly been making its way through...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Species, Designates Critical Habitat for One Species

On October 5, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed a beetle species as endangered, a fish species as threatened, and designated critical habitat for the fish species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service Revise Endangered Species Act Petition Process

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Agencies) published a final rule that revises the regulations governing the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) petition process. ...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Threatened Status for San Fernando Valley Spineflower

On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to list as threatened the San Fernando Valley spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina), a plant species native to Southern California, under...more

Federal and State Wildlife and Natural Resources Managers Collaborate on Historic Conservation Agreement

The WilmerHale Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group was proud to represent Newmont Mining in working with state and federal entities, among other stakeholders, to develop a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary,...more

Environmental Groups to Sue Fish & Wildlife Service Over Listing of 417 Species

Development Projects in California May be Impacted - In what could prove to have significant impacts to development and major public projects in California, the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental...more

ESA Round Up – Recent Cases and Policy

In the last several days there has been a flurry of end-of-summer activity, with federal courts issuing a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions: On September 2, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern...more

Northern Spotted Owl Listed As a Threatened Species Under the California Endangered Species Act

On August 25, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. ...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Three Fox Species and Reclassifies One Other

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule removing the San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis), Santa Rosa Island fox (U. l. santarosae), and Santa Cruz Island fox (U. l. santacruzae)...more

The Social Cost of Carbon Passes Its First Judicial Test

Earlier this week, the 7th Circuit affirmed the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment. This is a big deal in its own right, simply because the numbers are really...more

Texas Hornshell Mussel Proposed for Listing Under Endangered Species Act

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule to list the Texas hornshell (Popenaias popeii), a freshwater mussel, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The...more

August 4th Endangered Species Act Rulemakings

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule confirming its 2011 revision to the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The Service listed...more

A new regulatory climate for energy producers? Six points about the Energy Policy Modernization Act

This summer, in an 84-3 vote, the United States Senate moved forward a wide-ranging piece of bipartisan energy legislation, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The nearly 800-page bill tackles everything from the security of...more

Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker

This month’s tracker reflects key initiatives from June 16 - July 15, 2016. Brazil’s proposal to establish the region’s first comprehensive chemical regulatory program is the top story of this issue. Elsewhere, Chile...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Causes Big Problems for Industrial and Commercial Development in Parts of St. Tammany Parish

In 2010, under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“the FWS”) designated 6,477 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the Rana sevosa or the dusky gopher...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of “Uninhabitable” Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of "Uninhabitable" Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Bipartisan ESA Bill Proposes Funding for State Programs

In a year that has already seen its fair share of attempts to reform the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), another proposal has made its way into the House of Representatives. Representatives Don Young (R-Alaska) and Debbie...more

Considerations for C Corporations Making a 2016 Conservation Easement Gift

When considering making a conservation easement gift, there are a number of steps involved, including the creation of multiple documents, appropriate due diligence and other tasks required to implement and substantiate such a...more

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