Monthly Archives: July 2013

Ninth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Decision Upholding Commercial Fishing Restrictions in Alaska to Protect Endangered Steller Sea Lions

On July 23, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed (pdf) a lower court decision upholding restrictions on commercial fishing in Alaska to protect the western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), which is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The measures, imposed in 2010 … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Plan to Shoot Barred Owls to Protect Northern Spotted Owls

On July 23, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released a final plan to shoot approximately 3,600 barred owls (Strix varia) in the Pacific Northwest in order protect the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The plan provides that the Service will use … Continue Reading

Corps of Engineers Issues Guidance Regarding Section 7(a)(2) Consultation

On June 11, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a guidance memo (pdf) regarding its obligations under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The memo focuses on the Corps’ consultation obligations under section 7(a)(2).  Notably, the Corps makes no reference to the Corps’ obligation under section 7(a)(1) to “utilize [its] authorities in furtherance … Continue Reading

Court Holds Biological Assessment Reviewable, But Denies Temporary Injunctive Relief

On July 17, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, after finding that the plaintiffs could not establish a likelihood of success on the merits, denied (pdf) a motion to enjoin a 28,545 acre vegetation management project that involved the commercial and non-commercial harvest of over 20,000 acres of forest (the "Project"). … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period for Proposed Listing of Gunnison Sage-Grouse

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced this week that it will extend for six months a final decision on whether to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and whether to designate 1.7 million acres in Colorado and Utah as critical habitat for the species. In January of this … Continue Reading

District Court Holds U.S. Forest Service Failed to Consult Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act

On June 24, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana held (pdf) that the U.S. Forest Service (Service) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult on the impacts of a vegetation management project on Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in the Helena National Forest. Plaintiffs argued that the Service violated section … Continue Reading

Extra Record Evidence Saves Forest Service From Section 7(d) Violation

Late last month, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho denied preliminary injunctive relief in an Endangered Species Act case against the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Forest Service, even though it found that "the required rational connection was not made in the [section] 7(d) determination," because declarations submitted to the … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates 2,485 Acres as Critical Habitat for Buena Vista Lake Shrew

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) designated 2,485 acres in Kern County and Kings County in California as critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake shrew (Sorex ornatus relictus).  The Buena Vista Lake shrew is a small, insect-eating mammal native to the southern San Joaquin Valley. In 2005, the Service issued a final rule designating … Continue Reading
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