Endangered Species Act (ESA)

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service Revise Endangered Species Act Petition Process

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Agencies) published a final rule that revises the regulations governing the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) petition process. ...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Threatened Status for San Fernando Valley Spineflower

On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to list as threatened the San Fernando Valley spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina), a plant species native to Southern California, under...more

National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Propose Listing One Hawaiian Species and Four Marine Species

On September 19, 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published proposed rules to list two species of dolphin and two species of guitarfish under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS proposes to list the...more

ESA Roundup – Listing Decisions and Recovery Actions

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have issued listing decisions on a number of species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in recent days, and USFWS has announced...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes New Mitigation Policy

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("USFWS") announced the availability of a new draft policy on compensatory mitigation associated with implementation of the Endangered Species Act ("ESA") (81 Fed. Reg. 61032-61065,...more

Using Drones for a Bird’s Eye View of Wildlife

Project applicants and permitting and funding agencies often gather extensive scientific data to support project evaluations under environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species...more

Federal and State Wildlife and Natural Resources Managers Collaborate on Historic Conservation Agreement

The WilmerHale Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group was proud to represent Newmont Mining in working with state and federal entities, among other stakeholders, to develop a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary,...more

Environmental Groups to Sue Fish & Wildlife Service Over Listing of 417 Species

Development Projects in California May be Impacted - In what could prove to have significant impacts to development and major public projects in California, the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental...more

ESA Round Up – Recent Cases and Policy

In the last several days there has been a flurry of end-of-summer activity, with federal courts issuing a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions: On September 2, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern...more

D.C. Circuit Overturns FWS Approval of Wind Farm Due to Bat Concerns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit recently held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving an Ohio wind energy project without looking at all...more

Northern Spotted Owl Listed As a Threatened Species Under the California Endangered Species Act

On August 25, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. ...more

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Biological Opinions In Light of Circuit Court’s Exclusive Jurisdiction

Primarily relying on precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently dismissed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging two...more

ESA Mega-Settlement Part II: CBD Files Notice of Intent to Sue Over 417 Species

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed on August 23, 2016 a Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS” or “the Service”) over missed Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) 12-month finding deadlines...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Incidental Take Statements Not Required for Plant Species

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) on the issue...more

9th Circuit Agrees With BLM: Incidental Take Statements Are Reserved For Fish and Wildlife

In Center for Biological Diversity, et al., v. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when its...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Three Fox Species and Reclassifies One Other

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule removing the San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis), Santa Rosa Island fox (U. l. santarosae), and Santa Cruz Island fox (U. l. santacruzae)...more

Texas Hornshell Mussel Proposed for Listing Under Endangered Species Act

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule to list the Texas hornshell (Popenaias popeii), a freshwater mussel, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The...more

Recent Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions by Federal and State Courts

The state and federal appellate courts have issued a surprising number of significant rulings in a variety of environmental and administrative law controversies in late July and early August: - On August 8, the U.S....more

August 4th Endangered Species Act Rulemakings

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule confirming its 2011 revision to the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The Service listed...more

ESA Round-Up – Summer 2016

In the past few weeks, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published several Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions, including the following...more

USFWS Publishes Final Methodology for Prioritizing Listing Petition Status Reviews

On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a Federal Register notice of its final Methodology for Prioritizing Status Reviews and Accompanying 12-Month Findings on Petitions for Listing Species...more

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This is the final step in a process...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Causes Big Problems for Industrial and Commercial Development in Parts of St. Tammany Parish

In 2010, under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“the FWS”) designated 6,477 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the Rana sevosa or the dusky gopher...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Informational Standing Nonexistent Prior to 12-Month Finding

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the dismissal of an environmental organization’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim, concluding that the organization lacked standing...more

DC Circuit Judge Rogers Delivers 3 Important Administrative Rulings in 1 Day

July 15 was a busy day at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as five important decisions werethree issued. What was remarkable and worth noting is that Judge Judith Rogers, a member of the court...more

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