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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Supreme Court’s CEQA Docket Expands With Grant of Review in Newhall Ranch Case

On July 9, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted the petition for review filed by Plaintiff/Respondent Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Department of Fish and Game...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Requests Withdrawal of Proposed Rule to List the Wolverine as Threatened

A Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has directed federal biologists to withdraw their proposed rule to list the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. As...more

Proximate Cause and Foreseeability Are Required Elements of Endangered Species Act Liability: Fifth Circuit Reverses Injunction...

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an injunction that would have prohibited the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) from issuing new water withdrawal permits affecting an estuary where...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Downgrades Wood Stork From Endangered to Threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule reclassifying the U.S. breeding population of the wood stork (Mycteria americana) from endangered to threatened. According to the Service, when the wood...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Strict Liability Standard and Reverses Trial Court Decision Imposing Endangered Species Act Section 9...

In The Aransas Project v. Shaw, the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court’s finding that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality violated section 9 of the Endangered Species Act through its combined actions and inactions...more

D.C. District Court Holds Pre-Violation Notice Ineffective

On June 23, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed the strict application of the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) pre-litigation notice requirements, dismissing a lawsuit alleging that the...more

More Pipeline Development Projects: What America Needs

National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenges to pipeline projects and other natural gas infrastructure have become a commonplace tool in recent years for environmental groups seeking to defeat or delay midstream...more

Conservation Groups Continue to File ESA Lawsuits

Despite landmark settlements requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to review the status of hundreds of species currently listed as candidate species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), conservation groups...more

State Governors Urge the Federal Government to Defer to State Conservation Efforts When Deciding Whether to List a Species Under...

Last week, the bipartisan Western Governors' Association (WGA) adopted a resolution urging the federal government to defer to state conservation efforts and to prioritize funding to avoid new listings under the federal...more

Petition to Delist California Gnatcatcher Filed

Citing new genetic evidence that the coastal California gnatcatcher is not a distinct subspecies as previously claimed, but is part of a single, healthy and abundant species that ranges from Southern California to the...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the New Mexico Jumping Mouse as Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule listing the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The jumping mouse is a small mammal...more

California Fish and Game Commission Votes to List the Gray Wolf as Endangered

In a split decision and contrary to the recommendation of the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department), the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to list the gray wolf (Canis lupis) as endangered....more

Rose That Calls California and Nevada Home Listed as Threatened

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the listing of the Webber's ivesia (Ivesia webberi) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the designation of 2,170 acres of...more

Inside the Mining Industry: An Arizona Mining Lawyer Discusses Key Challenges, Opportunities & Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Other than market forces, Federal permitting processes continue to be a primary cause of delay for new mines and the expansion of existing mines throughout the United States. The federal government manages a significant...more

Amici Curiae Support En Banc Review Of Ninth Circuit Delta Smelt Decision

On May 12, 2014, Appellees Kern County Water Agency, Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, State Water Contractors, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California filed a petition for rehearing en banc, seeking further...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Ordered To Complete Recovery Plan For Canada Lynx

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Montana ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to develop a timeline for completion of recovery planning for the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). ...more

Endangered Species Act's New Mission: Not Just Survival

On May 12, 2014, federal regulators announced proposals to issue new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, with the intent of clarifying three key areas of uncertainty. As proposed, the U.S. Fish...more

North Carolina District Court Enjoins Coyote Hunting In Five North Carolina Counties

On May 7, 2014, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina enjoined coyote hunting in five North Carolina counties that provide a recovery area for the red wolf (Canis rufus), a species listed as...more

ESA Law Alert: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Propose Significant Changes to Critical Habitat Regulations

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the “Services”) jointly issued three interrelated proposals concerning the designation of critical habitat under the Endangered...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose New Endangered Species Regulations and Policy on Critical Habitat

On May 12, 2014, Federal wildlife agencies proposed two new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act and a draft policy regarding exclusions from critical habitat designations. The proposals, issued...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Change Critical Habitat Rules

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published two proposed regulations and a draft policy concerning critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Expand Reach Of Critical Habitat Protections Under The Endangered Species Act

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed two important new rules (50 CFR Part 402 and 50 CFR Part 424) implementing the critical habitat provisions of the...more

American Bird Conservancy Sends Notice of Intent to Sue Administration Over Revised Eagle Permit Rule

On April 30, 2014, the American Bird Conservancy (“ABC”) sent a Notice of Intent to Sue (“Notice”) to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service’) Dan Ashe, alleging...more

House Natural Resources Committee Sends Four ESA Reform Bills To The House Floor

After a heated markup hearing on Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to send four bills that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. ...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Lists Three California Amphibians

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule in the Federal Register listing the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana Sierrae) and the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain...more

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