News & Analysis as of

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

DWR Certifies EIR for WaterFix, Triggering 30-Day Deadline for Opponents to File Suit

by Downey Brand LLP on

On July 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) certified the final environmental document and issued its Notice of Determination for the California WaterFix, a significant new water infrastructure...more

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

Environmental Law: H.R. 2936 a Solution to Fire-borrowing?

by Lewitt Hackman on

The federal House Natural Resources Committee (HNRC) recently passed H.R. 2936, a bill to improve the overall health of forests and other lands across the country. The bill was introduced by Bruce Westerman (R-AK), who is...more

House Passes California Water Bill

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. David Valadao’s (R-CA) Gaining Responsibility on Water Act. The legislation is co-sponsored by 14 members of the California Delegation, primarily Republicans. The...more

ESA Reform Update

by Nossaman LLP on

Battle lines are being drawn in connection with ongoing efforts by lawmakers to reform the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). In a letter addressed to the leaders of both houses of Congress, the Senate Environmental and Public...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

Court Rules DOJ Enforcement Directive Arbitrary and Capricious

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

A U.S. District Court in Arizona has ruled that DOJ’s narrow interpretation of the requirements for a criminal misdemeanor under the Endangered Species Act went beyond unreviewable prosecutorial discretion, and its policy was...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

Environmental Case Law Update – 1st Six Months of 2017

On March 21, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc. This case concerns the operation and application of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA). ...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

With Mining Law Segregation on 10 Million Acres to Expire in Three Months, Interior Forms Sage-Grouse Review Team

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Late Wednesday Secretary of the Interior Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353 establishing a Sage-Grouse Review Team to review the Obama Administration’s 2015 amendments to federal land use management plans. To avoid listing...more

Secretary Zinke Orders Review of Sage-grouse Management Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 8th, 2017, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, entitled “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States.” This Order initiates the assessment of both...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Revised Guidance for Recovery Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 31, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued proposed revised guidance for the development of recovery plans as required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal is aimed at prioritizing...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

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Congress Includes Many Statements of Environmental Policy and Preferences in Omnibus Appropriations Act

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 authorized appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2017. This large and copious bill provides funding for all Federal agencies for this fiscal year. The Congressional committees included...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

Perhaps It Should Be Renamed the “Really, Really, Endangered Species Act”

Last Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision ruling that the Fish & Wildlife Service decision that listing of the whitebark pine as endangered or threatened was “warranted, but precluded”...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

State Sovereignty, Meet the Supremacy Clause

Earlier this week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision and vacated an injunction which had prevented the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from reintroducing the Mexican gray wolf onto certain...more

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Listing Begins to Sting

by Locke Lord LLP on

On April 17, 2017, a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois granted a temporary restraining order halting construction of a six-mile stretch of highway in suburban Chicago in response to allegations by project...more

Court Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board on Temperature Limits in Oregon Waters

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon ruled on parties’ objections to a federal magistrate judge’s findings and recommendations in a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

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