Incidental Take Permits

News & Analysis as of

New Conservation Restrictions for the Northern Long-Eared Bat Will Have Limited Impact on Development in Massachusetts

A new Endangered Species Act rule protecting the northern long-eared bat will likely have only limited impact on development and land use activities in Massachusetts due to fairly specific restrictions imposed by the final...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Formally Reinstates 5-Year Limit for Eagle Take Permits

On February 17, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) issued a final rule formally reinstating a five-year limit for eagle take permits. The final rule responds to an August 2015 ruling by the U.S. District Court...more

The Writing on the Wall Moves to the Federal Register: No 30-Year Take Permits

As we discussed last summer, the Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 30-year programmatic permit for incidental takes of bald and golden eagles from wind farms...more

Developers Dodge Bullet with Northern Long-Eared Bat

Developers have to deal with a number of environmental issues. These include stormwater management and potential impacts to wetlands, historic resources, and threatened and endangered species. The northern long-eared bat is...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final 4(d) Rule for Northern Long-Eared Bat Under Endangered Species Act

In April 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published a final decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened and, rather than publishing a final 4(d) rule, opted to publish an interim 4(d) rule...more

U.S Fish and Wildlife Services Opts Not to Appeal 30-Year Eagle Rule Decision, Focuses on Development of Eagle Permitting Program

On January 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling that set aside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) rule to extend the maximum...more

USFWS Issues Broader 4(d) Rule for Northern Long-Eared Bats: What it Means for Energy Developers

On January 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released its Final 4(d) Rule for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (Final Rule). The Final Rule greatly expands upon the scope of the interim 4(d) rule that the Service...more

California Supreme Court Decision Regarding Newhall Ranch Development Could Significantly Impact Developments

California Supreme Court Overturns Environmental Impact Report Related to Proposed Residential Development - In a much-anticipated decision, Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife,...more

New Challenges for CEQA Review of Development Projects After California Supreme Court Invalidates Greenhouse Gas Analysis and...

In a 5-2 ruling that poses significant hurdles for developers addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance and protected species mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Supreme Court...more

Lost in Translation: Supreme Court Elucidates CEQA GHG Analysis, “Fully Protected” Species Take Prohibition, And Issue Exhaustion...

In a 5-2 decision filed November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had upheld the EIS/EIR for the controversial Newhall Ranch development project. Center For Biological...more

Take of Fully Protected Fish Stops Large Housing Development Project in LA County

While many of us were busy hitting refresh for those great Cyber Monday deals, the California Supreme Court quietly issued its decision on the Newhall Ranch project. In a decision reminiscent of the snail darter era, the...more

Prudence Prevails: Fifth Circuit Supports Narrow Reading of Liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the criminal prohibition on killing or injuring birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”) “only prohibits intentional acts (not omissions) that...more

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the...more

Liability for Unintentional Bird Deaths Still Up in the Air

The recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that unintentional bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”) are not “takes” under the MBTA and therefore not subject to criminal liability, adds fodder to the...more

Fifth Circuit Decision in Citgo Case May Place Limits on Criminal Liability Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed convictions of CITGO Petroleum Corporation and CITGO Refining and Chemical Company, L.P. (collectively "Citgo"), and in so doing placed potentially...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Apply to Incidental Takes - What It Means for Energy Developers

On September 4, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the misdemeanor convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Citgo Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P. (collectively Citgo) for “taking” migratory birds in...more

D.C. Court Largely Upholds Loggerhead Sea Turtle Biological Opinion

On August 31, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia largely upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (Service) Biological Opinion (BiOp) addressing the impacts of seven fisheries on the Northwest...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

30-year Eagle Take Permit Term Remanded on Procedural Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") had inappropriately relied on a categorical exclusion under the National...more

Windfarm Industry Suffers Setback as Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule

On August 11, 2015, a district court in Silicon Valley remanded a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule issued in 2013 that had extended the potential term of incidental take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle...more

Avoiding NEPA – Even for “Worthy Goals” – Is Never Advisable

From the very first day of my legal career, clients have asked me some variation of this question: “Why can’t we just prepare a shorter Environmental Assessment (EA) or even issue a Categorical Exclusion (no analysis at all)...more

Court Invalidates 30-Year Permit Provisions of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

As we discussed in a post from May 2014, the American Bird Conservancy (“ABC”) in 2014 filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“USFWS”) 2013 revisions to its eagle permit rule, alleging violations of...more

Court Strikes Down FWS Rule for 30-Year Eagle Incidental Take Permits

In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) issued a rule increasing the maximum duration from five to 30 years of programmatic permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to “take” bald or golden eagles...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

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

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