Monthly Archives: April 2014

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three California Amphibians

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule (pdf) in the Federal Register listing the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana Sierrae) and the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) as endangered, and the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus Canorus) as threatened.  The agency proposed listing the species on April 25, … Continue Reading

House Natural Resources Committee to Hold Full Committee Markup on ESA Reform Bills

The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a full Committee markup of four bills intended to bring additional transparency to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The markup, which involves committee debates, amendments, and rewrites of the proposed legislation, is scheduled for this Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The Committee will be reviewing four ESA reform bills … Continue Reading

Calling on The “God Squad”

As reported by Kristi Pihl of the Tri-City Herald earlier this week, the Columbia-Snake Irrigators Association has requested that the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho proceed through the "God Squad" process under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) to seek to exempt those who operate on the rivers from having to provide any further mitigation for the local … Continue Reading

En Banc Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Consultation Requirement Applies to Renewal of Long-Term Water Contracts

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action may affect a listed species or designated critical habitat of such species applies to the decision of … Continue Reading

California Fish and Game Commission Delays Listing Decision for Gray Wolf

 The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) unanimously voted to postpone a decision on whether to list the gray wolf (Canis lupus) under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). As we previously reported, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended in February 2014 that the Commission not list … Continue Reading

Natural Resources Committee Discusses Endangered Species Act Reform

Earlier this week, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform. The hearing focused on four bills that seek to require data and spending transparency under the ESA. As previously reported, an ESA Congressional working group released a final report stating that the ESA “is not working.” The … Continue Reading

District Court Holds That the Incidental Take Statement Requirement Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act Does Not Apply to Listed Plant Species

Last Thursday, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held (pdf) that the incidental take requirements in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) do not apply to listed plant species. In Center for Biological Diversity v. Bureau of Land Management, No. C 03-02509 SI (N.D. Cal. Apr.3, 2014), environmental group plaintiffs … Continue Reading

District Court Upholds Controversial Settlement Agreements between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Groups

This week, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld (pdf) two settlement agreements – one between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and WildEarth Guardians, and the other between the Service and the Center for Biological Diversity – that collectively require the Service to determine whether to list 251 species … Continue Reading

FTA and FHWA Issue New MAP-21 Guidance That Could Penalize Wildlife Agencies

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141, governs Federal funding and authorization for certain surface transportation projects.  Included in MAP-21 is a provision requiring all Federal agencies with approval authority over a specific category of transportation projects to render a decision on an expedited basis.  23 U.S.C. 139 (h)(6).  Specifically, MAP-21 states that when … Continue Reading
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