Critical Habitat

News & Analysis as of

Reading the Tea Leaves: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lists, Designates Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage-Grouse – Is the Greater...

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed as “threatened” and designated over 1.4 million acres of critical habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), the smaller cousin of the...more

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

FERC revokes hydro license over fish passage

What happens when the owner of a federally licensed hydroelectric project fails to build the fish passage facilities required by its license? In the recent case of the East Juliette Hydroelectric Project in Georgia, the...more

EOEEA Releases Draft Ocean Management Plan Update: Now with Fees

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) recently released for public review and comment a draft update to the Ocean Management Plan for the Commonwealth. The Oceans Act, signed by...more

California Federal District Court Grants Partial Dismissal to Suit Alleging Violations of the Endangered Species Act

Earlier this month, a federal district court in California partially granted motions to dismiss a second amended complaint filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticide Action Network alleging that the...more

Court Reluctantly Upholds Designation of Critial Habitat for Frog

Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the designation of approximately 1,544 acres of privately-owned timber land located in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky...more

Critical Habitat and the Endangered Species Act: Proposed Revisions to Fundamental Regulatory Concepts

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) issued notices of proposed rules and a proposed policy related to the designation of...more

It’s Really Difficult to Site a Highway in a Refuge

In an important decision last week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals made clear just how high the hurdles are in the way of building highways in wildlife refuges. The decision in Defenders of Wildlife v. North Carolina DOT...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Change Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have proposed two important new rules implementing the critical habitat provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 79 Fed.Reg. 27060 (May 12,...more

Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC. ...more

Two Final Rules Designate One of Largest Critical Habitat Areas in History

On Wednesday, two final rules were released designating critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Together, the rules represent...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

ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Extend Comment Period on Critical Habitat Regulations

On June 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Services”), the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), have announced that they will...more

Rose That Calls California and Nevada Home Listed as Threatened

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the listing of the Webber's ivesia (Ivesia webberi) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the designation of 2,170 acres of...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Revise Rules And Protections Related To "Critical Habitat" - Proposal Would...

HIGHLIGHTS - - The proposed regulations would considerably change the regulatory definitions related to "critical habitat" and "adverse modification," increasing agency discretion to designate and protect areas that...more

ESA Law Alert: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Propose Significant Changes to Critical Habitat Regulations

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the “Services”) jointly issued three interrelated proposals concerning the designation of critical habitat under the Endangered...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose New Endangered Species Regulations and Policy on Critical Habitat

On May 12, 2014, Federal wildlife agencies proposed two new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act and a draft policy regarding exclusions from critical habitat designations. The proposals, issued...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Change Critical Habitat Rules

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published two proposed regulations and a draft policy concerning critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Expand Reach Of Critical Habitat Protections Under The Endangered Species Act

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed two important new rules (50 CFR Part 402 and 50 CFR Part 424) implementing the critical habitat provisions of the...more

Australian Scientists Call For Country To Focus Conservation Efforts On Most Vital Endangered Species

Last Thursday, several prominent conservation biologists in Australia called on the Australian government to allow certain endangered animals to become extinct in order to focus conservation efforts on reviving more vital...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Court of Appeals upholds determination: Reuters - Mar 14 - The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected a challenge to a determination by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service...more

Feds Designate Huge Swath of Southern Arizona for Jaguar Conservation

Mining projects in the mountains of Southern Arizona now face a new regulatory hurdle: persuading federal regulators that their proposed operations will not degrade the “critical habitat” of Mexican Jaguars who may wander...more

Fish And Wildlife Service Considers Increased Regulation Of Oil And Gas In Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on February 24 that it will be developing proposed regulations to adopt a significantly more stringent approach to the management of oil and gas activities associated with any...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service To Analyze Stakeholder Plan For Lesser Prairie-Chicken

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposed application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), including a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP),...more

EPA Issues Assessment of Bristol Bay and Large-Scale Mining

On January 15, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its final Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, concluding that large-scale mining in the region poses risks to...more

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