News & Analysis as of

Endangered Species

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period for Five Proposed Rules

by Nossaman LLP on

Earlier this week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) issued a notice in the Federal Register that it was reopening the comment period on five proposed rules for four plant species. Specifically, the proposed rules...more

Impact of Ninth Circuit Upholding Biological Opinion for Silver State South Solar Project in Nevada

by Perkins Coie on

In Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Biological Opinion prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to assess the impacts on the threatened desert tortoise from the...more

Secretary Zinke Orders Review of Sage-grouse Management Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 8th, 2017, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, entitled “Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Cooperation with Western States.” This Order initiates the assessment of both...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Revised Guidance for Recovery Plans

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 31, 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued proposed revised guidance for the development of recovery plans as required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal is aimed at prioritizing...more

Nevada Solar Project Survives Ninth Circuit Review Despite Impacts to Tortoise Connectivity

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 18, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in favor of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and other federal officials in an...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Forest Service’s Construction of New Roads in Grizzly Bear Habitat

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s (Forest Service) decision to construct 4.7 miles...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Determination on the Whitebark Pine

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 28, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Montana’s finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) determination...more

Perhaps It Should Be Renamed the “Really, Really, Endangered Species Act”

Last Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision ruling that the Fish & Wildlife Service decision that listing of the whitebark pine as endangered or threatened was “warranted, but precluded”...more

Court Rules Forest Products Industry Group Has Standing to Challenge Critical Habitat Designation

by Perkins Coie on

A forest products trade association has standing to challenge the critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in Carpenters Industrial Council...more

ESA Round-Up – April 2017

by Nossaman LLP on

Despite a slow start to 2017, largely due to the White House Memorandum delaying the effective date of new regulations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is picking up steam.  In April 2017, the Service initiated...more

BLM Directed to “Try Again” on NEPA Analysis for Echanis Wind’s Transmission Line: Greater Sage-Grouse Remains Key Issue for...

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In the continuing saga of the Echanis wind project in Eastern Oregon, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman on April 18 vacated the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM)’s Record of Decision (ROD) on a right-of-way grant...more

D.C. Circuit Removes Hurdle to Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Designation Challenge

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 11, 2017, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held in Carpenters Industrial Council v. Zinke, 2017 U.S.App.LEXIS 6175, that a lumber company trade...more

Manatee Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened

by Nossaman LLP on

On April 5, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule in the Federal Register reclassifying the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species...more

CA Supreme Court Boosts Plaintiffs’ Challenges to Endangered Species Listing Under CESA

by Perkins Coie on

The Supreme Court of California recently ruled that under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), plaintiffs may use a delisting petition, supported by new evidence, to challenge a prior decision by the California Fish...more

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Special Rule Regulating Take of Utah Prairie Dog

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the take of the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens).  Because Congress has this...more

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Joins List of Endangered Species Despite Delay

by Nossaman LLP on

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rusty patched bumble...more

Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann...more

D.C. Circuit Reinstates Gray Wolf Delisting in Wyoming

by Nossaman LLP on

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a final rule delisting the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C....more

Fish and Wildlife Service Approves New 30-Year Eagle Act Rule

by Perkins Coie on

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has formally approved the long-awaited, 30-year eagle take rule, which will allow renewable energy companies and other developers of large projects to obtain a 30-year permit (as opposed to...more

Federal and State Cooperative Efforts Provide Basis For DC Circuit Upholding Delisting of Gray Wolf

In the case of Defenders of Wildlife. et al., v. Zinke., et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and reinstated the U.S. Department of the Interior’s...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Lives to Fight Another Day: Fifth Circuit Denies Rehearing

by Liskow & Lewis on

On February 13, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied Defendants’ Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the case titled Markle Interests, L.L.C., et al. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al. The...more

California Supreme Court Orders Court of Appeal to Consider Merits of CESA Decision on Coho Salmon

by Nossaman LLP on

On February 27, 2017, the California Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeal decision dismissing a petition for writ of mandate regarding the California Fish and Game Commission’s (Commission) rejection of a petition to...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

Fifth Circuit Issues Contentious Dissent Over Designation of Louisiana Land

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had properly included approximately 1,500 acres in Louisiana as designated critical...more

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