News & Analysis as of

Critical Habitat

Nevada Solar Project Survives Ninth Circuit Review Despite Impacts to Tortoise Connectivity

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in favor of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and other federal officials in an...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Forest Service’s Construction of New Roads in Grizzly Bear Habitat

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s (Forest Service) decision to construct 4.7 miles...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Determination on the Whitebark Pine

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 28, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Montana’s finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) determination...more

Court Rules Forest Products Industry Group Has Standing to Challenge Critical Habitat Designation

by Perkins Coie on

A forest products trade association has standing to challenge the critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in Carpenters Industrial Council...more

ESA Round-Up – April 2017

by Nossaman LLP on

Despite a slow start to 2017, largely due to the White House Memorandum delaying the effective date of new regulations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is picking up steam.  In April 2017, the Service initiated...more

First Quarter CEQA Update in Under 60 Seconds

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Okay, maybe slightly longer than 60 seconds. The point being, though, that CEQA case updates really should not read like law school case briefs. Long discussion of the lower court’s findings? No thank you. ...more

D.C. Circuit Removes Hurdle to Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Designation Challenge

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 11, 2017, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held in Carpenters Industrial Council v. Zinke, 2017 U.S.App.LEXIS 6175, that a lumber company trade...more

AFRC Has Standing To Challenge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 Designation Of 9.5M Acres Of Federal Forest Lands As...

On April 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the lower court and held, owlin a unanimous opinion, that the American Forest Resource Council has standing to challenge the U.S. Fish and...more

California Supreme Court: CEQA Requires Study of Potential Impacts to ESHA

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Lead agencies cannot ignore the Coastal Act’s ESHA requirements in CEQA documents and defer analysis for later Coastal Commission review. Key Points: ..CEQA requires an EIR to identify potential environmentally...more

Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann...more

D.C. Circuit Reinstates Gray Wolf Delisting in Wyoming

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a final rule delisting the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C....more

Fifth Circuit Issues Contentious Dissent Over Designation of Louisiana Land

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had properly included approximately 1,500 acres in Louisiana as designated critical...more

Six 5th Circuit Judges Oppose USFS’s Critical Habitat Designation: Sounds Like Certiorari to Me

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals just denied en banc review in a case involving the Fish & Wildlife Service’s designation of critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. There are only 100 of these “shy” frogs left, and none...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Petition For Banc Rehearing In ESA Case Markel Interests, LLC v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On February 13, a sharply divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit , by a vote of 8 to 6, rejected a petition seeking an en banc rehearing of the court’s initial decision in the case of Markel Interests, LLC, et...more

NMFS Publishes Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery Plan

by Nossaman LLP on

On January 5, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published notice of the availability of the final Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas). The Endangered Species Act (ESA)...more

Texas Cactus and Three Other Species Proposed for Downlisting or Delisting by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

by Nossaman LLP on

On December 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to reclassify the Tobusch fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus ssp. tobuschii), downlisting the species from endangered to...more

Comment Period Open on City of San Diego Vernal Pool HCP

by Nossaman LLP on

On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice of availability and request for public comment in the Federal Register with respect to the draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/S) for...more

2016 Year-End ESA Round-Up

by Nossaman LLP on

The last few weeks of 2016 involved several activities relating to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the following: On December 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the final ESA...more

California Sues Federal Government Alleging Inadequate Environmental Review of Offshore Drilling Proposal

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In one of her last major legal actions before leaving office as California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, along with the California Coastal Commission (jointly the “Attorney General”), filed suit against various federal...more

Up the Creek Without a Paddle: District Court Holds that Biological Opinion Must Consider Climate Change Impacts

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In a narrow win for plaintiff Wild Fish Conservancy (“Plaintiff”), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that the biological opinion (“BiOp”) for the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes De-Listing the Black Capped Vireo

by Nossaman LLP on

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to remove the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) from the list of Endangered and Threatened Species. The Service has concluded...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Annual Candidate Notice

by Nossaman LLP on

The Candidate Notice of Review is an annual appraisal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) of plants and animals that are candidates for Endangered Species Act protection. A “candidate” species is a species for...more

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Challenges U.S Fish and Wildlife’s Release of Mexican Wolves

by Nossaman LLP on

Pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) appeal from a district court decision enjoining the Service from releasing Mexican wolves into New Mexico...more

USFWS Initiates Status Review for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

by Nossaman LLP on

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

New Administration Means Big Changes for Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

The election of Donald Trump as President, together with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, is likely to lead to important policy changes across a range of issues. While administration of the Endangered Species...more

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