Fish and Wildlife Service

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Holds that the BLM’s Grant of a Right-of-Way for a Road Over Federal Land Does Not Trigger Consultation Under the...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) grant of a right-of-way over federal land for a road (the Road Project) for a wind energy project...more

Wolves, Salamanders, and Snakes – Oh My!

On July 1, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published notice of its 90-day findings on petitions to list 31 species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Of these 31 species, all of which occur in the...more

Ninth Circuit Critical Habitat Decision Casts Shadow On Habitat Conservation Plan “No Surprises” Assurances

In a decision that casts a shadow on the enforceability of contractual assurances in habitat conservation plan (“HCP”) agreements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected various Endangered Species Act...more

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Forest Service Violated ESA by Failing to Reinitiate Consultation for Canada Lynx

On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish...more

FWS To Authorize Incidental Takes Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act?

Late last month, the Fish & Wildlife Service issued a Notice of Intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement to evaluate various options for authorizing incidental takes under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act....more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

Chairmen of U.S. Congressional Environmental Committees Criticize EPA’s Failure to Consult Regarding the Potential Impacts of...

On June 15, 2015, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a...more

Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Notice of Intent to Regulate Incidental Take of Migratory Birds

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) published a notice of its intent to evaluate potential ways to regulate incidental takes of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”). The Notice...more

Bureau of Land Management Releases Conservation Plans for Greater Sage-Grouse

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released fourteen final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that incorporate greater-sage-grouse conservation measures into the land-use plans for about 50...more

Court of Appeal Decision Extends Lake and Streambed Alteration Program to Water Diversions

In a decision that will have ripple effects on water diversions throughout California, the Court of Appeal held that section 1602 of the Fish and Game Code requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife...more

Nine Western States Throw Their Support Behind Case Challenging Reach of the Endangered Species Act

On May 26, nine western states filed an amicus brief in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO) v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to limit the reach of...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Consultation Unnecessary for Wind Energy Project

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit provided some additional guidance as to what constitutes agency action for purposes of triggering the consultation requirement under the Endangered Species Act...more

US Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes First-of-its-Kind Migratory Bird Incidental Take Authorizations

On May 26, 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to evaluate the potential impacts of permits authorizing the incidental take of...more

Sage Grouse Status Hangs in the Balance as BLM Moves to Adopt Conservation Plans for Ten Western States

On May 29, 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, released Final Environmental Impact Statements for proposed amendments to existing Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose Overhaul of ESA’s Petition Process for Species Listings

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“the Services”), the two agencies that administer the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), recently published a proposed rule designed to improve the...more

US Fish and Wildlife Service Considering Permit Program Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to Cover Commercial and Industrial...

For the first time, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering a proposed rulemaking to authorize the unintentional injury or killing of migratory birds by certain commercial and industrial activities....more

A Permit System May Finally Arrive for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act - New Opportunities and Responsibilities

For years, Federal Courts have held that individuals can be held criminally liable under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for the death of birds regardless of whether they intended to harm them. While several courts have...more

DC Circuit Holds Groups Lack Standing to Challenge Two Controversial U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Settlement Agreements

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the National Association of Home Builders’ and three other associations’ (collectively, NAHB) challenge to separate settlements...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Consider Expanding Incidental Take Authorization Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a notice in the Federal Register identifying its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement analyzing various approaches for regulating incidental...more

Easy Cases Make Better Law — Standing Edition

In an interesting, but not really difficult, decision on Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Association of Home Builders did not have standing to challenge a consent decree pursuant to which...more

USFWS Launches New Regulatory Program Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Notice of Intent to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of an incidental take program under the Migratory Bird...more

USFWS to Evaluate New Incidental Take Permitting Program Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published notice in the Federal Register announcing that it intends to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement to evaluate the effects of a program that...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose Regulatory Changes to Species-Listing Process Under Endangered Species Act

On May 18, 2015, the federal agencies that oversee the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service proposed significant changes to the process by which...more

Federal Government Proposes Revisions to Endangered Species Act Regulations

While a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills continue to wind their way through Congress (see our May 6, 2015 post), Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)...more

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