National Marine Fisheries Service

News & Analysis as of

Critical Habitat and the Endangered Species Act: Proposed Revisions to Fundamental Regulatory Concepts

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the “Services”) issued notices of proposed rules and a proposed policy related to the designation of...more

EPA Guidance on Pesticide Drift Will Affect Product Registrations

How to address and manage potential risks posed by pesticide “drift” -- the unintentional movement of some level of pesticide outside of the intended area of application -- has long been a challenging, complex regulatory...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

Final Endangered Species Act Policy Revises Definition of “Significant Portion of Its Range”

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service jointly published a final policy providing their interpretation of the phrase ‘‘significant portion of its range,’’ which is part...more

USFWS and NMFS Issue Joint Policy Interpreting ESA Listing Criteria

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service issued their final interpretation of the phrase "significant portion of its range" for the purposes of applying the Endangered...more

ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Extend Comment Period on Critical Habitat Regulations

On June 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Services”), the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), have announced that they will...more

Proposed Endangered Species Act Regulations Would Revise Rules And Protections Related To "Critical Habitat" - Proposal Would...

HIGHLIGHTS - - The proposed regulations would considerably change the regulatory definitions related to "critical habitat" and "adverse modification," increasing agency discretion to designate and protect areas that...more

Endangered Species Act's New Mission: Not Just Survival

On May 12, 2014, federal regulators announced proposals to issue new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, with the intent of clarifying three key areas of uncertainty. As proposed, the U.S. Fish...more

Finding Win-Win Outcomes For Conservation And Utilization

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or MSA, governs marine fisheries management in federal waters of the United States. The statute's purpose is to conserve and manage fisheries resources to rebuild...more

Wildlife Agencies Propose New Endangered Species Regulations and Policy on Critical Habitat

On May 12, 2014, Federal wildlife agencies proposed two new rules concerning critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act and a draft policy regarding exclusions from critical habitat designations. The proposals, issued...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

New Article Takes Stock Of Federal Agency Proposal To Use Surrogates To Establish Take Limits

In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Dennis Murphy and I examine a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to amend the existing...more

Alaska Urges National Marine Fisheries Service To Delist Subpopulation Of Humpback Whales

On February 26, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to remove the Central North Pacific subpopulation of humpback whales from the federal list of endangered or...more

BOEM Releases Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Survey For Offshore Atlantic Geological and Geophysical Activity

On February 27th, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), released its final...more

National Marine Fisheries Service To Conduct Status Review For Four Cetaceans

Today, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori), the Baltic Sea subpopulation of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), the...more

Oversight Of Pesticide Ingredients May Trigger A Duty To Consult Under The Endangered Species Act

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293, plaintiffs sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging that EPA’s oversight of pesticide ingredients, including trifluralin,...more

Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Draft EIR Released for Public Comment: Greatest Habitat Restoration Plan Ever or Pork Barrel...

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), an ecosystem plan designed to restore habitat and help endangered fish species recover while also keeping water flowing to customers through construction of the proposed water tunnel...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Considers Listing The Pinto Abalone Under The Endangered Species Act

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a 90-day finding (pdf) on two petitions to list the pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and...more

NMFS Determines Gulf Of Mexico Sperm Whales Do Not Warrant Listing Under The Endangered Species Act

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced (pdf) that it will not list the Gulf of Mexico population of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an endangered or threatened distinct population segment (DPS) under...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Delists The Eastern Population Of The Steller Sea Lion

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule delisting the eastern distinct population segment (DPS) of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) from the list of threatened and endangered...more

Citing Disagreements Over Climate Change Data, National Marine Fisheries Service Postpones Listing Determination On 68 Coral...

In December 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule to list 66 species of reef-building coral as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and to re-classify two...more

Endangered Species Act Proposed Rulemaking

On September 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the "Resource Agencies") jointly proposed new regulations governing the issuance of "incidental take...more

Services Propose New Regulations For Incidental Take Under the Endangered Species Act

On September 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) jointly proposed new regulations governing the issuance of "incidental take statements" (ITSs) under Section 7 of the...more

D.C. District Court Upholds U.S. Fish & Wildlife's Determination That The Tri-State Population Of The Marbled Murrelet Warrants...

In American Forest Resource Council v. Ashe, 1:12-cv-00111 (D.D.C. Sept. 5, 2013), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) determination that the Washington,...more

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