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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fish and Wildlife Service Soliciting Comments for Five Year Review for Several California Species

Posted in Listing

The Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a five-year review of 53 species under the Endangered Species Act.  The subject-species consist mainly of various frogs, butterflies, moths, snakes and lizards, including the El Segundo blue butterfly, San Francisco garter snake, California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander (Central), Western snowy plover, Longhorn fairy shrimp, and Vernal… Continue Reading

Departments of the Interior and Commerce Outline Proposed Changes to Endangered Species Act Programs as Part of Government-Wide Regulatory Reform Effort

Posted in Regulatory Reform

The White House recently unveiled plans to improve the federal regulatory system developed in response to an Executive Order issued by President Obama, which include a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to improve administration of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposal is reproduced in Departmental workplans submitted… Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Authorizes Lethal Removal of California Sea Lions

Posted in Court Decisions

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has authorized (pdf) the states of Washington and Oregon to lethally remove California sea lions that eat thousands of endangered salmon and steelhead just below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. According to NMFS, the small number of sea lions that prey on salmon and steelhead listed as… Continue Reading

Court Stays Approval of Proposed Settlement to Address Species Backlog

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing, Litigation

On May 17, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stayed its approval of a proposed settlement agreement (Agreement) aimed at expediting findings related to petitions to list 251 species. The Center for Biological Diversity (Center) opposed approval of the Agreement after being left out of the negotiation process. As we previously reported,… Continue Reading

Representatives Nunes, Denham, and McCarthy Introduce Bill to Address Water Project Operations in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Posted in Legislation, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

On May 11, Representatives Nunes, Denham, and McCarthy introduced H.R. 1837 (pdf) "to address water-related concerns on the San Joaquin River, and for other purposes."  A section by section analysis is available here (pdf). Title I of the bill includes a number of proposed amendments to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), 106 Stat. 4706.  Among… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Withdraws Controversial Solicitor Opinion

Posted in Listing

On May 4, 2011, the Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior withdrew (pdf) a controversial 2007 opinion (pdf) (the Opinion) that was recently criticized and rejected by federal courts in Montana and Arizona.  The Opinion provided an interpretation of the phrase "in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range" (the SPR phrase). This phrase is… Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Withdraws Proposal to List Mountain Plover

Posted in Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") announced that the mountain plover, a small native bird inhabiting open, flat lands with sparse vegetation, does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Mountain plovers breed in the western Great Plains and Rocky Mountain States from extreme southern Canada to northern Mexico.  Within the United… Continue Reading

Proposed Settlement Agreement Includes Work Plan to Address Endangered Species Listing Process

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service, Litigation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it has developed a six-year work plan that would allow the Service to systematically review and address the needs of more than 250 species currently listed as candidate species for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The work plan is part of a settlement agreement (PDF)… Continue Reading

National Research Council Issues Report on the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Posted in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

On May 5, 2011, an ad hoc panel appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report titled “The Review of the Use of Science and Adaptive Management in California’s Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan” (pdf). The NRC is a division of the National Academies, and the panel it appointed developed the report in… Continue Reading

FEMA and NMFS Hold Conference “Demystifying” Compliance with the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Continuing Education, National Marine Fisheries Service

On March 1-2, 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Marine Fisheries Service held a two-day conference entitled "Demystifying National Flood Insurance Program Alignment with the Endangered Species Act."  The agenda for the conference and associated materials are provided below.  Full Conference Agenda (PDF) Glossary of Terms (PDF) Compliance Options (PDF) Importance of Healthy Floodplains… Continue Reading

Comment Period Announced For New Information on Northern Spotted Owl

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that it was opening a 30-day public comment period on updated information for the draft revised recovery plan for the threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). This announcement follows the completion of a new computerized modeling tool developed for assessing spotted owl habitat quality and population… Continue Reading

Court Enjoins Shasta Valley and Scott River Watershed Permitting Programs

Posted in Court Decisions

On April 20, 2011, the San Francisco Superior Court issued a peremptory writ of mandate (PDF)¬†enjoining the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) from implementing a pilot program to facilitate recovery of the Klamath Basin coho salmon (Coho) and compliance by farmers with the DFG’s Lake and Streambed Alteration Program (referred to as the… Continue Reading