US Fish and Wildlife Service

News & Analysis as of

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

Senate Sportsmen’s Bill Would Delist Gray Wolves in Wyoming and Great Lakes Region

On January 20, 2015, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved S. 659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which complements the bill reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee late...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

The Final Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule: Impacts to Energy Infrastructure Projects

Last spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) published a final rule to list the northern long-eared bat (the “Bat”) as a threatened species and an interim 4(d) rule under the Endangered Species Act (the...more

Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Listing Prioritization Shake-Up

In a notice published on January 15, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a draft methodology for prioritizing species status reviews and 12-month findings on petitions for listing species under the...more

Take Two! Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

In late December we reported on a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”) that alleges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) is violating the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) through its operation and...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Texas Shrub

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that it will remove the Johnston’s frankenia (Frankenia johnstonii) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants under the Endangered Species Act. Johnson...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Concludes Northern Wolf Species Doesn’t Merit Listing

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued its 12-month finding on the petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) as an endangered or threatened species under the...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Its Annual Candidate Notice of Review

On December 24, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released its annual Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) summarizing the status of species that qualify as candidates for listing under the Endangered Species...more

Service Proposes to Overhaul 50-Year-Old Regulations for Oil and Gas Development in Wildlife Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) yesterday announced a proposed update to its regulations for oil and gas development in wildlife refuges. The proposed rule, which will be published in the Federal Register today,...more

Frogs, Water, and the Endangered Species Act in Oregon

Oregon spotted frogs and their habitats are being harmed because of the way the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“BOR”) operates and maintains some reservoirs in the Upper Deschutes River Basin, so asserts the Center for...more

Presidential Memorandum Promotes Pre-Project Mitigation and Restoration Banking: Implications for Energy Projects and Related...

On November 3, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memorandum) that potentially opens the door to agency attempts to expand mitigation obligations beyond what is required under law while also...more

EPA Makes Available Supporting Documents for Endangered Species Biological Evaluations

On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) made publicly available several documents associated with the Biological Evaluations (BE) for the first three “pilot”...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Modoc Sucker

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule removing the Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps) from the list of threatened and endangered species. The Modoc sucker, a small fish native...more

Risky “Business as Usual”: The California Supreme Court Upholds the BAU Approach to CEQA Climate Impact Analysis, but Sets a High...

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife,1 the California Supreme Court upheld the “Business as Usual” (BAU) approach for analyzing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the California Environmental...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

CESAR Files Delta Smelt ESA Suit Against DWR, Interior and USFWS

On November 19, 2015, the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability (CESAR) filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) and the...more

Natural Resource Conservation Subject of White House Directive to Agencies

A recently released Presidential Memorandum will likely spur new policies related to development and natural resources, possibly impacting public agencies, developers and the like. “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources...more

Court Rejects Some, But Not All Challenges to Critical Habitat Designation of Private Land

In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule designating 1,724 acres as critical habitat for the endangered Riverside fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus woottoni).  Included in that designation were...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Delmarva Fox Squirrel

On November 16, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) removing the Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) from the list of endangered and threatened species. Following its 2012...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Updated Guidance to Streamline 90-Day and 12-Month Petition Findings.

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) issued a memorandum to the Service Regional Directors announcing new guidance to streamline findings on petitions to list species under the Endangered...more

Renewable Energy Update - November 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Carbon war erupts between states over Obama power plan - Bloomberg: - Nov 4: In the era of global climate change, the phrase “war between the states” has taken on a new dimension. An 18-state...more

Presidential Memo Imparts “Moral Obligation” on Agencies to Mitigate Impacts of Natural Resource Development

On Tuesday, November 3, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum: “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment” (“Memorandum”). The Memorandum was sent to the...more

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