News & Analysis as of

Critical Habitat Endangered Species Act (ESA)

NMFS issues final Atlantic sturgeon rule

by PretiFlaherty on

U.S. fisheries regulators have issued a final rule designating nearly 4,000 river miles in Atlantic watersheds as critical habitat for endangered and threatened Atlantic sturgeon. The rule increases regulatory complexity and...more

Federal Appeals Court Keeps Great Lakes Grey Wolves Listed As Threatened

by Nossaman LLP on

On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision in Humane Society of the U.S. v. Zinke, Case No. 15-5041 (Aug. 1, 2017), affirming a district court decision that keeps the...more

Dusky Gopher Frog’s Louisiana Critical Habitat Spawns U.S. Supreme Court Writ

by Liskow & Lewis on

A group of Louisiana landowners, Weyerhaeuser Company, and the Pacific Legal Foundation filed Petitions for Writs of Certiorari this month asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS)...more

USFWS Tentatively Supports ESA Reform Bills

by Nossaman LLP on

On July 19, 2017, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a full committee legislative hearing on five bills that would amend portions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....more

ESA Reform Update

by Nossaman LLP on

Battle lines are being drawn in connection with ongoing efforts by lawmakers to reform the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). In a letter addressed to the leaders of both houses of Congress, the Senate Environmental and Public...more

Hualapai Mexican Vole Removed from List of Endangered Species Due to Erroneous Listing

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) promulgated a long-awaited final rule to delist the Hualapai Mexican vole (Microtus mexicanus hualpaiensis) (HMV) due to the Service’s determination that the...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 22, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will delist the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). According to the...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period for Five Proposed Rules

by Nossaman LLP on

Earlier this week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) issued a notice in the Federal Register that it was reopening the comment period on five proposed rules for four plant species. Specifically, the proposed rules...more

Impact of Ninth Circuit Upholding Biological Opinion for Silver State South Solar Project in Nevada

by Perkins Coie on

In Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to assess the impacts on the threatened desert tortoise from the...more

With Mining Law Segregation on 10 Million Acres to Expire in Three Months, Interior Forms Sage-Grouse Review Team

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Late Wednesday Secretary of the Interior Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353 establishing a Sage-Grouse Review Team to review the Obama Administration’s 2015 amendments to federal land use management plans. To avoid listing...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Revised Guidance for Recovery Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 31, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued proposed revised guidance for the development of recovery plans as required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal is aimed at prioritizing...more

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

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

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

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

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

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