Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction due to the consequences of economic growth and lack of habitat conservation.
News & Analysis as of

District Court Holds That The Incidental Take Statement Requirement Under Section 7 Of The Endangered Species Act Does Not Apply...

Last Thursday, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the incidental take requirements in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do not apply to listed plant species. In Center...more

Dispatches From the “Sue and Settle” Front: Trade Groups Do Not Have Standing to Challenge Settlements Regarding ESA Listing...

Last week, a federal court, for the fourth time, found that property owners’ groups do not have standing to challenge a settlement between the administration and conservation groups under which the administration agreed to...more

District Court Upholds Controversial Settlement Agreements Between U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service And Environmental Groups

This week, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld two settlement agreements – one between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and WildEarth Guardians, and the other between the Service...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...more

FTA And FHWA Issue New MAP-21 Guidance That Could Penalize Wildlife Agencies

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141, governs Federal funding and authorization for certain surface transportation projects. Included in MAP-21 is a provision requiring all Federal...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Proposes To Reclassify California Toad

On March 27, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a 12-month finding and proposed rule to reclassify the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), a species that is believed to exist exclusively in California,...more

District Court Remands Offshore Wind Project For Failure To Comply With Endangered Species Act

In a decision that has been nearly thirteen years in the making, on March 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Announces Listing Of Lesser Prairie-Chicken

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the final listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service identified...more

California Court Recognizes Conservation Exception To Fully Protected Species Law

On an issue of first impression, a California court has created a judicial exception to the “take” prohibition in the state’s fully protected species statutes. On March 20, 2014, the California Court of Appeal held that the...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds 2008 Biological Opinion Restricting Operations Of California Water Projects

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the latest round of the delta smelt litigation, upholding the 2008 Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the combined operations...more

Proposed Bill Seeks To Require Federal Agencies To Count Species On State, Tribal, And Private Lands Before Listing The Species...

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart (UT) recently introduced a bill that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require federal wildlife agencies to include the number of species found on state, tribal, and private...more

Caution: Wildlife Crossing – Hydraulic Fracturing and Endangered Species

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become a hot button issue for environmental groups. Most reported environmental issues pertaining to fracking involve water use and water and air quality. However, over the past few...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Delta Smelt Biological Opinion Pumping Restrictions

California Water Supplies Likely to be Impacted - In a reversal potentially impacting the water supply to millions of Californians, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a biological opinion issued by the...more

How Powerful is the Endangered Species Act? Just Ask the Delta Smelt

The Endangered Species Act is a powerful tool for the protection of threatened and endangered species and their habitats. Just how powerful was made clear last week when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals largely reversed a...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

Ninth Circuit Issues Long-Awaited Delta Smelt Decision

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision relating to the 2008 biological opinion (BiOp) issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regarding the effects of the Central...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

New Article Takes Stock Of Federal Agency Proposal To Use Surrogates To Establish Take Limits

In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Dennis Murphy and I examine a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to amend the existing...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Issues Revised Recovery Plan For The Pallid Sturgeon

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the availability of a revised recovery plan for the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a species that is found in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, has...more

Alaska Urges National Marine Fisheries Service To Delist Subpopulation Of Humpback Whales

On February 26, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to remove the Central North Pacific subpopulation of humpback whales from the federal list of endangered or...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Proposes Delisting Two Death Valley Plant Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently issued a proposed rule to remove Eureka Valley evening-primrose (Oenothera avita ssp. eurekensis) and Eureka dune grass (Swallenia alexandrae) from the federal list of...more

Science And Structured Decision Making: Fulfilling The Promise Of Adaptive Management For Imperiled Species

Abstract Scientists and policy makers have shown great industry in popularizing the concept of adaptive management for imperiled species, principally by promulgating slightly varying, multi-step adaptive-management cycles....more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Lists Two Texas Salamanders As Threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule listing the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and the Salado salamander (Eureycea chisholmensis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....more

Ontario Court Backs Wind Developer at Ostrander Point

In July 2013, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoked the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued to Gilead Power to develop a nine-turbine, 22.5-megawatt wind power project at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County....more

More Than Five Years Later, the Bush Administration Is Still Losing Environmental Cases

I previously noted that the record of the Bush administration in defending its rulemaking decisions was dangerously near the Mendoza Line. Indeed, even four years after Bush left office, it was continuing to lose decisions. ...more

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