State Department of Fish and Wildlife

News & Analysis as of

West Branch storage project relicensed

Earlier this month U.S. hydropower regulators issued a new license for the West Branch Project, which includes water storage facilities on the West Branch of the St. Croix River in Maine. The Federal Energy Regulatory...more

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to...more

State Agency’s Intentional Flooding for Environmental Protection Results in Physical Taking of Private Property – Strict Liability...

Pacific Shores Property Owners Association v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (1/20/16, C070201) - On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California ruled that where a state agency...more

What Two Recent California Supreme Court Rulings Mean for Analysis of Environmental Impact at Project Sites and Greenhouse Gas...

The California Supreme Court recently issued two important decisions involving the interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The first finds that agencies generally are not required to evaluate the...more

Your Tricolored Blackbird Problem Just Got Worse – Candidate Listing under the California ESA

Looks like Christmas came early, again, for the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Based on a petition submitted by CBD, the California Fish and Game Commission voted earlier this month to designate the tricolored...more

CEQA Strikes Again: Supreme Court of California Decision Highlights the Importance of Managing Environmental Issues in Project...

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court halted a nearly 12,000 acre mixed-use development project that was 15-years in the making in Los Angeles County, and had earned both state and local agency support. The...more

How to Fix Your GHG Analysis After the California Supreme Court’s Newhall Ranch Decision

My colleague, Michael Sherman, posted yesterday about two issues decided in the California Supreme Court’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Today, I’ll address the...more

California Supreme Court Rules Mitigation Measures Constitute Take of Fully Protected Species

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision comes at...more

Newhall Ranch Project Dealt Supreme Court Setback - Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Supreme Court released its long-awaited opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Monday, November 30. The case presented issues regarding the adequacy of an...more

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Removes Gray Wolf from State Endangered Species List

On November 9, 2015, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) voted to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from protection under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.  The Commission meeting lasted almost 10 hours,...more

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Recommends Delisting the Gray Wolf

On October 29, 2015, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced that it believes that the gray wolf (Canis lupus) has met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (Oregon ESA). Under...more

Bureau of Land Management and California Department of Fish and Wildlife Sign Conservation Agreement

On October 16, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the signing of a conservation agreement intended to provide greater protections and more flexibility...more

California Supreme Court Ponders Fully Protected Species Issues

On September 2, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case involving fully protected species that may have important state-wide implications. (Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and...more

New Regulations Could Expand CEQA Review of Impacts to Common Birds - California Department of Fish & Wildlife Proposes Draft...

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) published draft regulations interpreting California laws that protect birds of prey, and the nests and eggs of birds generally. These draft regulations, released on Aug. 14,...more

Federal District Court Strikes Down Eagle Act Rule

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s so-called “30-Year Rule,” which had extended from 5 years to 30 years the duration of...more

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Proposes Rules Regulating Nesting Birds and Birds of Prey

On August 14, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to nesting birds and birds of prey.  Specifically, the Department is proposing to adopt...more

California Fish and Game Commission Lists Population of Fisher Under the California Endangered Species Act

On August 6, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to list the southern Sierra Nevada evolutionarily significant unit of the fisher (Pekania pennati) as a threatened species under the California...more

California Appellate Court: CDFW Notification Required for Water Diversions

Any plans to “substantially divert” water from a river or stream requires notification to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Court of Appeal found. In reversing a lower court’s decision that favored...more

Fish & Game Code Section 1602 Is Unambiguous, Now Requiring More Water Users To Provide “1602 Notification” To “Substantially...

On June 4, 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled that California Fish and Game Code section 1602 (“Section 1602”) unambiguously requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) if an entity or individual...more

A CEQA Trustee Agency “Muscles Up”: Third District Holds Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newly Exercised Power To Require Notice...

Under CEQA, a “trustee agency” is a “state agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for the people of the State of California” and “[t]he California Department of...more

California Fish and Game Commission Votes Not to Make Tricolored Blackbird Candidate for Listing

Thursday, in response to a petition to list filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) determined not to make the tricolored blackbird (agelaius...more

Third District Rejects CEQA Challenge To Program EIR For California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Statewide Fish...

In a lengthy published decision filed February 10, 2015, and addressing consolidated appeals in three related actions, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment rejecting petitioner and appellant...more

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees

Filing Fees for CEQA Notices of Determination Increase Effective Jan. 1 - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will increase its filing fees for all CEQA Notices of Determination filed on or after Jan. 1. ...more

Listen to the Words In the Injunction Battle

In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Offshore, LLC, the surface and 1/6 of the minerals of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 5/6th of the minerals is owned by the...more

Is A 16% Reduction in GHG Emissions From "Business-As-Usual" Enough Under CEQA?

Our previous post on the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Mar. 20, 2014), highlighted the court’s holdings on California...more

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