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

Sonoran Desert Tortoise Not Endangered or Threatened Says FWS

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined on October 5, 2015 that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, found primarily in Arizona, does not qualify as either an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered...more

Mining on 10 Million Acres in Six States Impacted by BLM’s Proposed Withdrawal

On September 24, 2015, the federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published a Notice of Proposed Withdrawal (“BLM notice”), proposing to withdraw from mineral location and entry federal lands identified as “sagebrush focal...more

BB&K Files Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court in Threatened Santa Ana Sucker Case

A team of BB&K attorneys, working pro bono, garnered headlines this week for case of first impression. Best Best & Krieger LLP filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of two cities and 10 water agencies,...more

Greater Sage-Grouse Avoids Listing through “Unprecedented” Collaborative Conservation Efforts

On September 22, 2015, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Department of the...more

Renewable Energy Update - September 2015 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Data center giant Equinix taps SunEdison to solar power its California operations: PV Magazine - Sep 23: Equinix, the largest data center service provider in the world, has signed a five-year...more

Sage-Grouse Not Listed Under Esa In Wake Of New State-Led Conservation Efforts

Federal officials deem that state-led efforts are sufficient to protect the bird’s habitat for the near future. On September 22, the administration of US President Barack Obama announced that, given the “unprecedented”...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Protection for Greater Sage-Grouse No Longer Warranted

In a speech at the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will not list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered...more

ESA Alert: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Initiates 12-Month Review for Listing

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced its 90-day findings on various petitions under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Service found that 23 petitions presented substantial scientific or...more

Birds of a Feather? Greater Sage-Grouse Decision Shows That Conservation and Energy Development Can Flock Together

On September 22, energy developers in the West breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues 90-Day Findings on Petitions to List 25 Plant and Animal Species

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued 90-day findings on 25 petitions to list various plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Of the 25 petitions, the Service concluded...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - United States, China sign landmark climate change declaration at Los Angeles summit: Courthouse News - Sep 15: U.S. and Chinese leaders on Tuesday signed a landmark declaration on climate...more

Challenge to Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier Thrown Out Due to Lack of Proper Notice

On September 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted the state and federal defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Center for Environmental Science,...more

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the...more

Where You Operate Matters: the Fifth Circuit Widens the Split on MBTA Liability

Last week the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that reduces uncertainty regarding criminal liability for taking migratory birds. In particular, the ruling alleviates potential liability for facilities where interactions with...more

[Event] Nossaman's 2015 Environmental and Land Use Seminar - September 22nd, Newport Beach, CA

Nossaman will host a complimentary half-day seminar comprised of panel discussions on a spectrum of critical federal and state environment and land use issues, including new federal rules implementing the Clean Water Act and...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Listing of New England Cottontail Not Warranted Due to Species Recovery From Conservation...

On September 15, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published (pdf) its 12-month finding on a petition to list the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) as an endangered or threatened species...more

Birds of a Feather: The 5th Circuit Joins the 8th and 9th Circuits’ Narrow View of the MBTA’s Take Prohibition

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Co. that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s take prohibition does not include the unintentional take of migratory...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Greenhouse Gas, Fully Protected Species Issues

The California Supreme Court heard argument on September 2, 2015 in a greenhouse gas (GHG) and fully protected species case with important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Fully Protected Species Issues

On September 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving fully protected species that may have important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

Eagles Back in the Nest: FWS 30-Year Eagle “Take” Rule Vacated Less than Two Years after Implementation

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) regulation that increased the maximum duration of programmatic permits...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Critical Habitat Determination for the Marbled Murrelet

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule relating to the existing critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The murrelet is listed as a threatened...more

A Legal Morass: Overlapping Takings Law With the Endangered Species Act

Last week, Jeremy Jacobs posted an interesting article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Horne v. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2015), and its potential application to Endangered Species Act...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

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