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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Listing of Gunnison sage-grouse is “warranted but precluded.”

Posted in Listing, Litigation

On Monday, September 27, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its determination that the Gunnison sage-grouse warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act, but that proposing that it be listed as threatened or endangered be postponed while the Service addresses the needs of higher priority species. Historically, the Gunnison sage-grouse occupied southwestern Colorado,… Continue Reading

Man Pleads Guilty to Intentionally Ramming Whales in Violation of ESA

Posted in Litigation

Last week, a man in southeast Alaska pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by twice intentionally ramming the boat he was operating into humpback whales, a listed species under the Act.  Federal prosecutors charged Kevin Carle with “knowingly harassing, pursuing and harming whales,” a violation that resulted in two years of probation and a $1,025… Continue Reading

Dramatic Drop Reported in Palila Population

Posted in Conservation

Recently, a number of news outlets reported that the population of the palila (Loxioides bailleui), a Hawaiian songbird that the Fish and Wildlife Service listed as endangered in 1967 under the predecessor to the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA), has decline dramatically in recent years according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and… Continue Reading

District Court Upholds Certain Aspects of Canada Lynx Critical Habitat Rule but Remands Economic Analysis

Posted in Court Decisions

Two statewide snowmobile associations challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 final rule designating critical habitat for the contiguous United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx on the grounds the Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  In an order (PDF) dated September 10, 2010, the United States… Continue Reading

National Research Council Agrees to Review Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan by April 2011

Posted in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

As we previously reported, representatives of the Federal government asked the National Research Council’s Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta to consider amending its existing task by agreeing to conduct a review of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  In a letter (PDF) dated September 10, 2010 and addressed to… Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Northern Spotted Owl

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service

The Service released a draft Revised Recovery Plan (PDF) for the northern spotted owl dated September 8, 2010.  The species, which inhabits portions of California, Oregon, and Washington, was listed as threatened in 1990.  A chronology of regulatory actions taken by the Service with respect to the northern spotted owl is available here (PDF).  According… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Amends Earlier Opinion Regarding Adverse Modification of Critical Habitat

Posted in Court Decisions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit amended an opinion it filed earlier this year in Butte Environmental Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we wrote about here.  The case concerns a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) finding that a proposed business park would not adversely modify the critical habitat of… Continue Reading

ESA Take Prohibition Does Not Apply to Endangered Plants On Privately-Owned Wetlands

Posted in Court Decisions

The Ninth Circuit issued a decision (PDF) recently in which it held that the removal of an endangered plant from privately-owned “waters of the United States” is not a violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Section 9(a)(2)(B) of the ESA makes it unlawful to “remove and reduce to possession any [endangered species of plant]… Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit Affirms Decision to Establish an Experimental Falcon Population in New Mexico

Posted in Court Decisions

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed (PDF) a lower court decision denying a petition for review submitted by Forest Guardians challenging the decision of the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to reintroduce a nonessential experimental population of endangered Northern Aplomado Falcons into portions of southern New Mexico. The species was listed… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Overturns Grazing Regulation Amendments for Violation of Endangered Species Act

Posted in Court Decisions

In Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink (PDF), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit  upheld the district court’s decision that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the Endangered Species Act in adopting amendments to BLM’s grazing regulations and affirmed the district court’s permanent injunction enjoining the amended regulations.  The Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading