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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Category Archives: Conservation

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List 23 Mariana Island Species as Threatened or Endangered

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has published (pdf) a proposed rule to list 21 species as endangered and 2 species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Of the 21 species the Service proposes to list as endangered, twelve are plant species and nine are animal species. The two proposed threatened species… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Protection for Canada Lynx

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

 On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) revising the critical habitat designation for the contiguous United States distinct population segment (DPS) of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and revising the boundary of the Canada lynx DPS. The revised critical habitat designation consists of approximately 38,954 square miles of… Continue Reading

NMFS Releases Final Recovery Plan for Central Valley Salmonids

Posted in Conservation

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released its final recovery plan for Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead.  The website for the recovery plan is here.  Along with the recovery plan, NMFS released a number of supporting documents on the website.  Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Credit Program for At-Risk Species

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Regulatory Reform

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced a proposed policy establishing credits for voluntary prelisting conservation actions for imperiled species. The policy is intended to establish an additional measure for encouraging and awarding voluntary actions to protect species that may be listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The… Continue Reading

State Governors Urge the Federal Government to Defer to State Conservation Efforts When Deciding Whether to List a Species Under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Conservation

Last week, the bipartisan Western Governors’ Association (WGA) adopted a resolution urging the federal government to defer to state conservation efforts and to prioritize funding to avoid new listings under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The resolution (pdf) calls for state conservation plans to "give rise to a regulatory presumption by federal agencies that an… Continue Reading

Calling on The “God Squad”

Posted in Conservation

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

Australian Scientists Call for Country to Focus Conservation Efforts on Most Vital Endangered Species

Posted in Conservation

Last Thursday, several prominent conservation biologists in Australia called on the Australian government to allow certain endangered animals to become extinct in order to focus conservation efforts on reviving more vital species. The biologists argue that current Australian policies, such as mandatory recovery plans for all endangered species, may have consequences if they are not… Continue Reading

New Article Takes Stock of Federal Agency Proposal to Use Surrogates to Establish Take Limits

Posted in Conservation

In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Dennis Murphy and I examine a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to amend the existing regulations that implement the interagency consultation process set out in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by codifying their pre-existing practice… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Revised Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon

Posted in Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the availability of a revised recovery plan for the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a species that is found in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, has been described as having a "unique dinosaur-like appearance," and has been listed as endangered since 1990.  As summarized by the Service, the revised recovery plan updates… Continue Reading

New article explores structured decision-making for imperiled species

Posted in Conservation

In an article (pdf) forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dennis Murphy and I explore the potential for adaptive management through structured decision-making to improve efforts to conserve imperiled species.  We note the many impediments to effective management, which include frequent default to best professional judgment.  We then explore the potential for… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service To Analyze Stakeholder Plan for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) that it will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposed application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), including a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The application concerns the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicintus), which the Service has proposed to be… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Proposals under Section 6 of the ESA for Federal Financial Assistance

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking proposals (pdf) from states or territories for federal grants from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (Fund) for voluntary conservation projects that benefit candidate, proposed, or listed species. The Fund is authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and provides four different grant… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Availability of Draft Economic Analysis for Proposed Critical Habitat for Three Amphibian Species

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently released (pdf) its draft economic analysis (DEA) for its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae), the northern distinct population segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa), and the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus). The proposed critical habitat designation encompasses approximately… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Conservation, Regulatory Reform

 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

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

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

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. Bureau of Land Management Issues Draft Proposal to Protect Nevada and Northeast California Greater Sage-Grouse

Posted in Conservation, Regulatory Reform

On November 1, 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as lead agency, and the U.S. Forest Service (Service), as cooperating agency, issued the Nevada and Northeast California Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  The EIS evaluates six alternatives for land use plan management amendments (LUPA) focusing on… Continue Reading

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Begins Process of Updating the California Wildlife Action Plan

Posted in Conservation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun the process of updating California’s Wildlife Action Plan, a guidance document that sets goals for improving the state’s wildlife resources. CDFW is holding a series of scoping meetings through November 13 of this year at various locations throughout the state. To be eligible to receive federal funds under… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three Species in Texas and New Mexico as Threatened or Endangered

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently listed (pdf) the Jemez Mountains salamander (Piethodon neomexicanus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service also recently published (pdf) a final rule listing the Texas golden gladecress (Leavenworthia texana) as endangered and the Neches River rose-mallow (Hibiscus dasycalyx) as threatened under the ESA. The… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Holds Claims Against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Failure to Comply with the Endangered Species Act are Moot

Posted in Conservation, Court Decisions, Fish & Wildlife Service, Litigation

On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held (pdf) that appellants’ claims against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an alleged failure to take certain actions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with respect to the straight-horned markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni) were moot.  In 1976, the… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Listing the Kentucky Glade Cress

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Kentucky glade cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. laciniata) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service also proposed (pdf) designating critical habitat for the species. The Service previously identified the Kentucky glade cress as a candidate species on… Continue Reading

House Republicans Scrutinize Endangered Species Act Lawsuits

Posted in Congress, Conservation, Legislation, Regulatory Reform

Today, the House Natural Resources Committee is holding a full committee oversight hearing on species conservation efforts undertaken at “on-the-ground-levels” in an effort to compare those efforts with the effectiveness of Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuits. The hearing, entitled Defining Species Conservation Success: Tribal, State and Local Stewardship vs. Federal Courtroom Battles and Sue-and-Settle Practices,… Continue Reading

Habitat Conservation Plan Implemented in Tehachapi Uplands

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service

On May 10th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it had approved the Tehachapi Uplands Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan), which will provide protections for 25 species of plants and animals, while permitting limited development and other land use activities on designated areas within Tejon Ranch. Founded in 1843, Tejon Ranch is… Continue Reading

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Downlist the Status of the Wood Stork from Endangered to Threatened

Posted in Conservation, Delisting, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed upgrading the status of the wood stork (Mycteria americana) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed change is in response to improvements in the population and habitat of the species based on the best available scientific information. Dan Ashe, Director for the… Continue Reading