Monthly Archives: November 2013

District Court Upholds Biological Opinion for Wind Energy Project in Imperial County, California

On November 20, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California rejected a challenge by various plaintiffs and upheld the biological opinion and incidental take statement issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility Project (Project) located in the Sonoran Desert in Imperial County, California.  … Continue Reading

Bureau of Land Management Continues to Develop a National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy

 The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued (pdf) a draft Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement (LUP Amendment/EIS) for the Oregon Sub-Region.  Once finalized, the LUP Amendment/EIS will cover over 10 million acres of sage-grouse habitat in the species’ Oregon range. The draft LUP Amendment/EIS is one of fifteen … Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Considers Listing the Pinto Abalone under the Endangered Species Act

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a 90-day finding (pdf) on two petitions to list the pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and designating critical habitat for the species. According to NMFS, there is substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the species under the … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves HCP and ITP for 10 Species Over a 50-Year Period

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published in the Federal Register a notice of its Record of Decision on an Incidental Take Permit authorizing NiSource, Inc. (NiSource) to "take 10 federally listed species over a 50-year period."  NiSource is engaged in natural gas transmission, storage, and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission, and … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Declines to List Gunnison’s Prairie Dog

On November 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) determined (pdf) that Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisonidoes) does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  According to the Service, the species’ populations are stable and there are no threats causing or projected to cause the species to be at risk of … Continue Reading

NMFS Determines Gulf of Mexico Sperm Whales Do Not Warrant Listing Under the Endangered Species Act

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced (pdf) that it will not list the Gulf of Mexico population of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an endangered or threatened distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sperm whales were originally listed as endangered under the precursor to the ESA—the Endangered Species Conservation Act … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reopens Public Comment Period for Proposed Listing of Gunnison Sage-Grouse

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced (pdf) the reopening of the public comment periods for its January 11, 2013 proposed rules to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate approximately 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the species in Colorado and … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Delisting the Inyo California Towhee

                                                       Photograph By Alan Vernon On November 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to remove the Inyo California towhee (Pipilo crissalis eremophilus) from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service concluded that delisting the Inyo California towhee is warranted … Continue Reading

Wildlife Service Proposes to List Two Butterfly Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that it has proposed listing two butterfly species under the Endangered Species Act because of "steep population declines."  The two species are the Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek) and the Dakota skipper (Hesperia dacotae).  The notice issued by the Service states that "[b]oth butterfly species use prairie habitat and are threatened by degradation or … Continue Reading
LexBlog