Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fall Out Continues from Bad Faith Finding in Delta Smelt Case

Recently, we reported on an unusual bad faith finding made by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in litigation challenging the 2008 biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regarding the effects of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project on the delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus).  Thus … Continue Reading

Federal Court Issues Decision Invalidating NMFS Biological Opinion for Central Valley Project and State Water Project

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 279-page memorandum decision (pdf) on cross-motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases involving challenges to the June 4, 2009 biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of continued operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water … Continue Reading

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Listing Divided Into Nine Distinct Population Segments

In 1978, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.  On September 16, 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a Final Rule revising the listing for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle from a single threatened species to nine distinct population … Continue Reading

California Legislature Authorizes Take of Fully Protected Species

The California Legislature has sent to the Governor legislation authorizing the Department of Fish and Game to permit the incidental take of 36 fully protected species pursuant to a natural community conservation plan approved by the Department. (Senate Bill 618 (Wolk).) The legislation, in effect, gives fully protected species the same level of protection as … Continue Reading

Federal Court Approves Plan to Address Backlog of Candidate Species for Listing

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has approved (pdf) two settlement agreements among environmental groups and the Fish and Wildlife Service to address a backlog of species that are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  One (pdf) of the agreements was entered into with Wildearth Guardians, and the second (pdf) was … Continue Reading

Fish & Wildlife Service Proposes Listing for the Franciscan Manzanita

Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced (PDF) a 12-month finding to list the Franciscan manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) — a plant previously thought to be extinct in the wild — as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The plant, native to the San Francisco peninsula, had not been seen in the wild since 1947.  As … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Advocates Adaptive Management Approach to Recovery of Mojave Populations of Desert Tortoise

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced (PDF) the availability of the 2011 Revised Recovery Plan for the Mojave Population of the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) (PDF).  The Plan calls for an adaptive management approach, something the Service says is necessary to "accommodate changing management needs" of the species.  In contrast, an earlier earlier recovery plan, … Continue Reading

Federal Court Issues Injunction in the Delta Smelt Case

On August 31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California enjoined implementation (pdf) of a water management action (referred to as the “Fall X2 Action”), which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) proposed to take pursuant to a 2008 biological opinion (BiOp) for operation of … Continue Reading
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