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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

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Announces Availability Of Draft Economic Analysis For Proposed Critical Habitat For Three Amphibian...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently released its draft economic analysis (DEA) for its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae), the northern distinct...more

Sage Grouse Controversy Continues

As we previously reported, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has proposed to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) and the Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as endangered and threatened...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period For Greater Sage-Grouse And Designates Critical Habitat For Franciscan...

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") announced the extension of the public comment period on the proposals to list and designate critical habitat for the the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of...more

District Court Upholds Biological Opinion For Wind Energy Project In Imperial County, California

On November 20, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge by various plaintiffs and upheld the biological opinion and incidental take statement issued by the U.S. Fish...more

Three Point Shot

Sports and Hollywood have long been inextricably linked – many athletes want to be and even become actors, countless actors have lived out their athletic fantasies on the silver screen, and it is no secret that athletes and...more

Bureau Of Land Management Continues To Develop A National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued a draft Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement (LUP Amendment/EIS) for the Oregon Sub-Region. Once finalized, the LUP...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lists 15 Hawaiian Species As Endangered

This week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed (pdf) 15 species on the island of Hawaii as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Among the species protected are the anchialine pool shrimp...more

FWS Application of “Baseline” Rule Minimizes Economic Impact of Critical Habitat Designation

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) explicitly prohibits the consideration of economic impacts in making the decision to designate a species as “endangered.” However, consideration of such factors is allowed in the designation...more

Government Issues Final Rule on Economic Impact Analyses for Endangered Species Act Habitat Designations

Because of its huge impact on land use, the designation of critical habitat is one of the most controversial and heavily litigated areas of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as seen with the designation of millions of acres...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes Downlisting The Santa Cruz Cypress

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has proposed downlisting the Santa Cruz cypress (Hesperocyparis abramsiana; previously listed as Cupressus abramsiana) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species...more

Final ESA Rule Changes to Impact Analyses in Critical Habitat Designations

Effective October 30, 2013, a final rule issued jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the "Services") modifies when and how the Services analyze impacts,...more

Final Rule Issued On Economic Impact Analyses For Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat Designations

On August 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) issued a final rule revising their regulations for analyzing the economic impacts of critical habitat designation...more

Citing Increasing Threats From Urbanization, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Central Texas Salamanders Pursuant to...

Recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (service) actions pursuant to the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) have the potential to significantly affect public and private development in Central Texas, as well as any other...more

Federal Wildlife Agencies Issue Final Rule Adopting "Incremental" Approach To Economic Impact Analyses Conducted For Critical...

On August 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule adopting an “incremental” approach to preparing an economic impact analysis required for a...more

Endangered Species Act Working Group To Hold Field Hearings In Wyoming And Montana

On August 22, 2013, U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) and the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Doc Hastings (R-Wash), announced that the Congressional Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group will...more

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat Designation for Three Rockfish Species Within The Puget Sound/Georgia Basin

The National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") proposes to designate critical habitat within the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin for three species of rockfish, including the endangered Distinct Population Segments ("DPS") of...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Designating 36 Marine Areas As Critical Habitat For The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently issued a proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean loggerhead sea turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (Caretta caretta) within the...more

Congress Continues To Probe The Endangered Species Act

Yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a second hearing regarding implementation and impacts of the Endangered Species Act. ...more

District Court Holds National Park Service Failed To Consult Under Section 7 Of The Endangered Species Act

On June 24, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana held that the National Park Service (NPS) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult on the impacts of a vegetation...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Cumulative Effects Analysis Not Necessary For Informal Consultation

In a published opinion affirming the denial of preliminary injunctive relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that "there is no statutory mandate to consider cumulative effects during informal...more

Court of Appeal Reverses Trial Court’s Disapproval Of Environmental Impact Report For Seawater Desalination Plant

A municipal water district proposed a project to build a seawater desalination plant to avoid predicted future water supply shortages. After the water district certified an environmental impact report (“EIR”) for the...more

Federal Court Denies Joint Motion For Consent Decree Regarding The Marbled Murrelet

In American Forest Resources Council v. Ashe, 1:12-cv-00111 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2013), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied a joint motion for a consent decree regarding the critical habitat...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Proposes To Designate Almost 740 Miles Of Critical Habitat For The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

On March 25, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta...more

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