ESA Listings

News & Analysis as of

Federal Wolf Program Could Threaten Energy Development in the Permian Basin

The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS”) has announced an intention to revise the scope of the agency’s Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, significantly expanding the geographic area within southern Arizona and New...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Florida Plants as Endangered

Last Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule listing two plants as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The two species, Florida brickell-bush (Brickellia mosieri) and Carter’s...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is Accepting Comments on Revised Draft Recovery Plan for the Bull Trout

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) posted a Notice of Availability of the Revised Draft Recovery Plan for the Coterminous United States Population of Bull Trout. The plan is intended to manage threats and...more

Listing May Be Warranted for Clownfish

In a 90-day finding published this morning in the Federal Register, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) found that the listing of the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) "may be warranted" under the Endangered...more

District Court Rules Grizzly Bears Trump Montana's Plan to Log Forest Lands to Fund Schools

On August 21, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Montana remanded the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forested State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and suspended...more

Court Reluctantly Upholds Designation of Critial Habitat for Frog

Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the designation of approximately 1,544 acres of privately-owned timber land located in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Declines to List Missouri River Trout Population

On August 20, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) declined to list the Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment of the Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) as threatened or endangered under the...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

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

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

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

NMFS Releases Final Recovery Plan for Central Valley Salmonids

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released its final recovery plan for Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead. Sacramento River...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Credit Program for At-Risk Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced a proposed policy establishing credits for voluntary prelisting conservation actions for imperiled species. The policy is intended to establish an additional...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

Two Final Rules Designate One of Largest Critical Habitat Areas in History

On Wednesday, two final rules were released designating critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Together, the rules represent...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 Holds TCEQ Water Permits Not Proximate Cause of Whooping Crane Deaths, Reverses Ban on Permitting

HOUSTON, July 2, 2014 -- Following briefing and argument by lawyers from Baker Botts and the Texas Office of Solicitor General, on June 30, 2014 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a district...more

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