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

DC Development Activities May Be Impacted By Petition to FWS

On July 28, 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The petition, if granted, could have ramifications for development and other activities in the District of...more

Ready for Comment: FWS Proposal Encourages Voluntary Conservation Measures for At-Risk Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently proposed a new policy – the Policy Regarding Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions – that would give landowners credit for undertaking voluntary conservation measures for...more

New Decision in Mega ESA Case Dismisses Most Consultation Claims with Prejudice, Although Certain Claims Survive Pending Further...

In a wide-ranging decision issued on August 13, 2014, in Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA (N.D. Cal.) (often referred to as the "Mega ESA" case), Magistrate Judge Spero has dismissed most of the claims by the Plaintiffs...more

California District Court Dismisses ESA Section 7 Case for Failure to Allege that Agency Action Took Place on the "High Seas"

On August 12, a judge for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss claims alleging that a federal agency violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult with federal...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Withdraws Proposal to List North American Wolverine as Threatened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that it is withdrawing its proposal to list the North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The decision to...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Lands Commission files suit to overturn S.F.'s Prop. B: SFGate.com - Jul 15: The State Lands Commission filed suit Tuesday to overturn San Francisco's voter-approved limits on...more

Recent Ninth Circuit ESA Decision May Be Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

On July 14, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District v. Natural Resources...more

Forest Service Agrees to Initiate Consultation regarding Fuels Reduction Project at Upper Echo Lake south of Lake Tahoe and Halt...

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California recently signed an order on a stipulation in Murphy v. United States Forest Service that bars the Forest Service from proceeding with implementation of...more

Fifth Circuit Reins In Trend of Expanding ESA Liability for Remote Harm

The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in The Aransas Project v. Shaw, No. 13-40317 (5th Cir. June 30, 2014), clarified two points relating to the element of causation in claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ...more

In Flux Eagle Regulations Continue to Impact Industries

Austin associate Brooke Wahlberg’s article “The Curious Problem of Eagles” is featured as one of the lead articles in the Spring 2014 volume of the Texas Environmental Law Journal. The article examines the Bald and Golden...more

Energy Newsletter - August 2014

In This Issue: - Fifth Circuit Reins In Trend of Expanding ESA Liability for Remote Harm - Japan's Pivotal Role in the Global LNG Industry's 50-Year History - Government of Greece to Launch New Licensing...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Texas Minnows, Acknowledges Impacts to Water Management Likely

On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its decision to list two small Texas minnows -- the sharpnose shiner (Notropis oxyrhynchus) and smalleye shiner (N. buccula) -- as endangered under the...more

10th Circuit Limits ESA Consultation Obligations To Boundaries Of The Agency Action

This past week, the 10th Circuit held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no obligation to engage in consultation pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) where the potential effects on...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Rule Protecting Three Flowers

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule protecting three flowers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The three flowers -- the Short's bladderpod (Physaria globosa), fleshy-fruit...more

House Passes ESA Reform Package

On July 29, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform legislation introduced by members of the House Natural Resources Committee. As previously reported, the legislation consists of...more

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Change Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have proposed two important new rules implementing the critical habitat provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 79 Fed.Reg. 27060 (May 12,...more

ESA Section 9 Case Dismissed Because of Allegations re Take

Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because, instead of attacking a specific project or...more

Fifth Circuit Limits the Reach of ESA "Take Liability" for State Regulatory Agencies Based on "Proximate Causation" Principles

The Fifth Circuit's decision provides important legal and factual guidance for whether an action will cause a "take" under the ESA. While the decision only affects states covered by the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and...more

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

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