US Fish and Wildlife Service

News & Analysis as of

D.C. Circuit Overturns FWS Approval of Wind Farm Due to Bat Concerns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit recently held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving an Ohio wind energy project without looking at all...more

ESA Mega-Settlement Part II: CBD Files Notice of Intent to Sue Over 417 Species

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed on August 23, 2016 a Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS” or “the Service”) over missed Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) 12-month finding deadlines...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Incidental Take Statements Not Required for Plant Species

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) on the issue...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 48

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 48 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, Colorado, and Kansas. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Three Fox Species and Reclassifies One Other

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule removing the San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis), Santa Rosa Island fox (U. l. santarosae), and Santa Cruz Island fox (U. l. santacruzae)...more

Texas Hornshell Mussel Proposed for Listing Under Endangered Species Act

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule to list the Texas hornshell (Popenaias popeii), a freshwater mussel, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The...more

August 4th Endangered Species Act Rulemakings

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule confirming its 2011 revision to the designation of critical habitat for the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). The Service listed...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

Federal - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Two Updated Chapters in the EPA Air Pollution Control Cost Manual - EPA is making two finalized chapters of the EPA Air Pollution Control...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - Tesla acquires sister firm SolarCity for $2.6 billion - VentureBeat - Aug 1 - SolarCity Corp agreed to be acquired by sister company Tesla Motors Inc. in a deal worth $200 million...more

ESA Round-Up – Summer 2016

In the past few weeks, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published several Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions, including the following...more

USFWS Publishes Final Methodology for Prioritizing Listing Petition Status Reviews

On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a Federal Register notice of its final Methodology for Prioritizing Status Reviews and Accompanying 12-Month Findings on Petitions for Listing Species...more

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This is the final step in a process...more

The Dusky Gopher Frog Causes Big Problems for Industrial and Commercial Development in Parts of St. Tammany Parish

In 2010, under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“the FWS”) designated 6,477 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the Rana sevosa or the dusky gopher...more

D.C. Circuit Holds Informational Standing Nonexistent Prior to 12-Month Finding

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the dismissal of an environmental organization’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim, concluding that the organization lacked standing...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of “Uninhabitable” Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds USFWS Designation of "Uninhabitable" Critical Habitat for Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected challenges to the final rule designating critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National...more

Bureau to Take Closer Look at Offshore Wind Project

On July 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. Hopper, Acting Director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, reviewed the District Court’s dismissal...more

Princesses Everywhere Embrace Recent Decision, Private Land Property Owners Not So Much

This decision is reminiscent of a fairytale about a princess and her frog prince and the croaking chorus of the Frogs of Aristophane. On June 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a significant ruling...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Increases Civil Penalties

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published an interim rule (pdf) revising its civil procedure regulations for the assessment of civil penalties for violations of various laws and regulations within the Service’s...more

Comments on New Rules for Bald and Golden Eagle Protection due July 5, 2016

On May 6 of this year, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a proposed rule revising the permitting program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (the Act). Public comments on the rule are due...more

Federal Wildlife Agencies Release Draft Revisions to Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released draft revisions to their joint Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (Handbook).  The proposed revisions are...more

US FWS Releases Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan

On April 15, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued its Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposing a regional approach to...more

USFWS Proposes (Again) To Issue 30-Year Eagle Act Permits

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published a proposed rule that would amend various aspects of its permitting program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (“Eagle Act”). As widely...more

Court Enjoins Wolf Releases in New Mexico

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico issued an opinion and order enjoining the United States from releasing captive-bred wolves within the State of New Mexico without first obtaining importation and...more

Circuit Courts Tackle Question of Agency Liability under the MBTA for Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities

On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected plaintiffs’ claim, among others, that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by granting a...more

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