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.
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National Marine Fisheries Service Accepts Two Petitions to List the Porbeagle Shark

On March 27, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) accepted two petitions asking NMFS to list the Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act either throughout the...more

Agencies Must Aim for Recovery of the Species When Designating Critical Habitat

In a decision issued earlier this week, a U.S. District Court rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) interpretation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), finding that its interpretation of the critical habitat...more

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Action Alleging San Francisco Violated the Endangered Species Act

In a three-page memorandum decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed Wild Equity and other groups’ appeal from a lower court decision, dismissing as moot a lawsuit alleging that the City and...more

Court Upholds Endangered Species Act Incidental Take Permit for Windfarm

On March 17, 2015, Judge Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) issuance of an incidental take permit...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues a 90-Day Finding and a Proposed Rule

On March 3, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued two Federal Register notices – a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) as either threatened or endangered, and...more

Outdated requirement results in continued listing of species determined to be recovered

The Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps), a small fish with a range limited to northeast California and south-central Oregon, was listed as endangered in 1985.  A recovery plan for the species was adopted by the Service in 1992,...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Considering Revision to Critical Habitat Designation for Southern Resident Killer Whales

On February 24, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced a 12-month finding on the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

District Court Rejects Challenge to Wind Farm Permitting, Finds No Violation of ESA or Eagle Protection Act

This month a federal court in Maine rejected a challenge to a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) for the Oakfield wind power project. The court determined that the Army Corps did not violate the...more

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss a Challenge to Natural Gas Projects in the Great Barrier Reef

On Friday, February 20, a federal district court denied (pdf) a motion to dismiss, thereby breathing life into an Endangered Species Act (ESA) challenge brought against the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Bank) for...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: California lawmakers introduce sweeping new measures to increase renewable energy, cut fossil fuel use - San Jose Mercury News - Feb 10: Last Tuesday, California lawmakers unveiled a...more

Report by House Natural Resources Committee Highlights Shortcomings in Use of Peer Review Science by U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

On December 15, 2014, the House Natural Resources Committee majority staff published a report titled “Under the Microscope: An examination of the questionable science and lack of independent peer review in Endangered Species...more

The Oregon chub is the first fish species ever to be declared recovered and removed from threatened species listing

On February 17, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its final decision to remove the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Federal Endangered...more

114th Congress Introduces Bill to Amend Endangered Species Act of 1973

On January 28, 2015, Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) introduced House Bill H.R. 585, which seeks to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) to establish a new procedure for approval of certain stipulated consent decrees...more

Federal Agencies Revise Killer Whale Listing to Include Whales Held in Captivity

On February 10, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (“Services”) issued a final rule (pdf) to include captive killer whales in the Southern Resident killer whale...more

Case Could Alter the Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah attracted national attention with its November decision in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in which it ruled...more

Energy & Environmental Update - January 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental Protection...more

Endangered Species Act Roundup: More Rules

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published three new rules, continuing its flurry of activity from December.  January 16, 2015 – The Service issued a final rule listing the Mexican wolf (Canis...more

Energy & Environment Update - January 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Treasury - Environmental Protection...more

Legislative Water Update

Conversations Among Federal Lawmakers May Lead to New Water Legislation - A number of conversations are occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between the House and the U.S. Senate (particularly Rep. David...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied two petitions seeking review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding limits on water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the endangered Delta...more

Prairie Dogs vs. Congress

A recent ruling by a Utah federal judge, although directed at the Endangered Species Act (ESA), may have far-reaching implications on Congress' commerce clause powers. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Judge Dee...more

Fish & Wildlife Service Finds That Gnatcatcher Delisting May Be Warranted

Continuing the quarter century controversy over the listing of the Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) as a threatened subspecies, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has concluded that a...more

Endangered Species Act Year End Roundup: FWS Issues Findings on A Listing Petition and NMFS Issues A Correction

Coming in just under the wire for the New Year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published new rules on December 31, 2014, making December a very busy month for Endangered...more

Federal Court Holds U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Violated Endangered Species Act by Delisting Gray Wolf in Nine States

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it issued a final rule delisting gray wolves in nine...more

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