News & Analysis as of

Critical Habitat US Fish and Wildlife Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Nossaman LLP on

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

by Nossaman LLP on

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

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