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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for the Sonoma County DPS of the California Tiger Salamander

Posted in Critical Habitat

On August 30, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will designate under section 4 of the federal Endangered Species Act approximately 47,383 acres of critical habitat for the Sonoma County Distinct Population Segment of the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense).  The Service had previously re-opened the comment period on its proposed critical habitat… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Denies Request to Re-Instate ESA Protections for the Gray Wolf Pending Appeal

Posted in Litigation

On August 25, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied (pdf) an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal to re-instate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Environmental groups appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit on August 13, 2011, after… Continue Reading

Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes Critical Habitat for Coachella Valley Milk-vetch

Posted in Critical Habitat

The Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced a proposed rule (pdf) this week to revise critical habitat for the federally endangered Coachella Valley milk-vetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae).  The proposed rule would designate approximately 25,704 acres of land in Riverside County, California as critical habitat for the plant, which is endemic to the Coachella Valley. The four geographic units proposed… Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service to Consider Delisting Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle

Posted in Delisting

The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a 90-day finding (pdf) that delisting the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus) may be warranted.  The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) initially petitioned the Service to delist the beetle in September 2010.  In April 2011, PLF filed a lawsuit seeking a court order directing the Service to… Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Publishes Five-Year Review Reports on ESA-Listed Salmon and Steelhead

Posted in Listing

On August 15, 2011, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a Federal Register notice (pdf) announcing the five-year review reports for six species of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS completed reviews for five Pacific salmon species evolutionary significant units (ESUs), and one steelhead distinct population segment (DPS) in… Continue Reading

Recently Released Book Addresses Federalism and the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Conservation

An edited volume recently released by Resources for the Future Press and Earthscan focuses on federalism and the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The editors are Kaush Arha and Buzz Thompson, both of whom are associated with the Woods Institute at Stanford University.  According to these editors, the volume "explores the critical role that states… Continue Reading

FEMA’s Administration of the National Flood Insurance Program Not Exempt from Section 7 Consultation

Posted in Litigation

On August 19, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied in part and granted in part FEMA’s motion for partial summary judgment (PDF) in the latest in a series of lawsuits filed against FEMA for failing to consult under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding the impacts of… Continue Reading

District Court Rejects Species Delisting Not In Accordance With The Species Recovery Plan

Posted in Litigation

In a recently issued decision (pdf), a U.S. District Court overruled a Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decision to delist the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel because the delisting rule was not consistent with the species’ recovery plan and the recovery plan can only be modified after notice and comment rulemaking. Friends of Blackwater v…. Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Declares Recovery of Lake Erie Water Snake

Posted in Listing

On August 15, 2011, after a little more then a decade of protection, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that the Lake Erie water snake (Nerodia sipedon insularum) was recovered and that it has been removed from the list of threatened and endangered species.  The Service, which listed the Lake Erie water snake as a threatened species in 1999,… Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Miami Blue Butterfly on Emergency Basis

Posted in Listing

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is listing the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri) as endangered on an emergency  basis under the Endangered Species Act.  The agency decision (pdf) appears in the August 10, 2011 Federal Register.  The species "is currently known to occur at only a few small remote islands within the Florida… Continue Reading

Five Southern Fish Species Listed as Endangered

Posted in Listing

On August 8, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed five fish species located in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The five fish species include the Cumberland darter (Etheostoma susanae), rush darter (Etheostoma phytophilum), yellowcheek darter (Etheostoma moorei),… Continue Reading

Court Invalidates Columbia River Biological Opinions, Again

Posted in Consultation, Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision (pdf) invalidating the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) 2008 and 2010 biological opinions for operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation after the parties to the litigation challenging those decisions… Continue Reading