Endangered Species

News & Analysis as of

EPA Not Required to Consult on Air Quality Regulation Regarding Four Corners Power Plant

On July 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was not required to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Declines To Reclassify California Plant

On May 2, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a 12-month finding concluding that, based on the best available scientific and commercial information, the endangered Lane Mountain milk-vetch (Astragalus...more

Cattle Battle on Federal Land Likely Avoided

An anticipated showdown between a Nevada cattle rancher and the federal government will likely pass without the violence and fanfare many anti-government groups had been hoping. The background of this fight stemmed from the...more

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...more

Take That! Second District Court of Appeal Clears Major Hurdles for Newhall Ranch Project, Provides Guidance on California’s...

California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Five, issued a decision on March 20 in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife (Case No. BS131347), overturning the trial court’s decision...more

California Court Recognizes Conservation Exception To Fully Protected Species Law

On an issue of first impression, a California court has created a judicial exception to the “take” prohibition in the state’s fully protected species statutes. On March 20, 2014, the California Court of Appeal held that the...more

Australian Scientists Call For Country To Focus Conservation Efforts On Most Vital Endangered Species

Last Thursday, several prominent conservation biologists in Australia called on the Australian government to allow certain endangered animals to become extinct in order to focus conservation efforts on reviving more vital...more

Caution: Wildlife Crossing – Hydraulic Fracturing and Endangered Species

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become a hot button issue for environmental groups. Most reported environmental issues pertaining to fracking involve water use and water and air quality. However, over the past few...more

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

Feds Designate Huge Swath of Southern Arizona for Jaguar Conservation

Mining projects in the mountains of Southern Arizona now face a new regulatory hurdle: persuading federal regulators that their proposed operations will not degrade the “critical habitat” of Mexican Jaguars who may wander...more

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