Endangered Species

News & Analysis as of

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

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of “Uninhabitable” Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Wyoming Prohibits Trespassing For Resource Data Collection: Might Massachusetts Follow?

In a fascinating case, Judge Scott Skavdahl (who recently struck down BLM’s fracking regulations) dismissed challenges from NRDC and PETA, among others, to a Wyoming law that prohibits trespassing on private land for the...more

Princesses Everywhere Embrace Recent Decision, Private Land Property Owners Not So Much

This decision is reminiscent of a fairytale about a princess and her frog prince and the croaking chorus of the Frogs of Aristophane. On June 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a significant ruling...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Increases Civil Penalties

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published an interim rule (pdf) revising its civil procedure regulations for the assessment of civil penalties for violations of various laws and regulations within the Service’s...more

Federal Wildlife Agencies Release Draft Revisions to Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released draft revisions to their joint Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (Handbook).  The proposed revisions are...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Supreme Court rejects new challenge to EPA’s air pollution rule - The Hill - Jun 13 - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a third request from a group of states to...more

Circuit Courts Tackle Question of Agency Liability under the MBTA for Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities

On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected plaintiffs’ claim, among others, that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by granting a...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Injury Exists Where Statutory Enactment Denies Plaintiff’s Right to Information; Upholds Section 9 Exemption...

On June 3, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in Friends of Animals v. Jewell (No. 1:14-cv-00357) that Plaintiff Friends of Animals (“Plaintiff”) had Article III standing to pursue a constitutional...more

USFWS Issues 90-day Finding for Midwestern Moose Population

On June 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a 90-day finding that listing populations of the Northwestern moose (Alces alces andersoni) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may be warranted. The...more

If At First You Do Not Succeed: Fish and Wildlife Service Tries Again With 30-Year Eagle Act Permit

On May 6, 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) published a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) that would substantially change how the Service administers its conservation and management program under the Bald and...more

Wolf-Rider Introduced in House Funding Bill

As recently reported by the Center for Biological Diversity, a rider has been proposed for an appropriations bill that would provide $1.5 billion to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2017.  The controversial rider would...more

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Draft 30-Year Programmatic Eagle Take Permit - Longer Permit Terms Welcome, But Certain Proposed...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on May 6, 2016, issued a draft rule that would extend to 30 years the maximum life of permits authorizing the incidental take of bald and golden eagles pursuant to the federal Bald...more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Appeal Abandoned

After filing an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit less than two weeks prior, on May 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) filed an unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss its appeal...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule designating approximately 65,038 acres and 20.3 river miles of critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa). The acres and...more

6 Key Takeaways from the FWS’s Proposed Update to the Eagle Act Rules

On May 2, 2016, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its second attempt to revise its rules authorizing eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The rule would extend the...more

Long Awaited Eagle Rule Revamp Out for Public Comment

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published its proposed revisions to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“BGEPA”) permit program.  The stated intention of these proposed revisions is to...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Authorizes Take of the Last Known Wild Jaguar in the United States

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a revised Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Permit for the Rosemont Copper Mine in Pima County, Arizona. USFWS originally issued a Biological Opinion...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

Feds Spawn New Rules and Policies for Protected Species Habitat and Mitigation

Federal agencies charged under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) with species protection have recently hatched revisions to regulations and policies that change substantially the determination and protection of habitat for...more

Changing the ESA Listing Petition Process? Not as Much as You Might Think.

On April 21, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, “Service”) announced revisions to their proposed modifications to the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) petition...more

I Wish for a Happy Earth Day

April 22nd marked Earth Day, an annual celebration of environmentalism. The headline event of Earth Day 2016 was having 175 countries sign the Paris Agreement, which represents a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

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