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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Category Archives: Critical Habitat

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NMFS Publishes Corrected Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Arctic Ringed Seal

Posted in Critical Habitat, National Marine Fisheries Service

On December 9, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Secretary of Commerce published a revised proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal.  The previous proposed rule was published here (and reported on this blog here) on December 3rd.  Citing a clerical error, NMFS withdrew the December 3rd rule, claiming it “contained… Continue Reading

Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Critical Habitat: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sets December 18, 2014 Public Hearing in Sacramento

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service

As we reported in November, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) has been planning to hold a public hearing on the proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) across nine western states.  The Service recently announced that the public hearing will take place on December… Continue Reading

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat for the Threatened Arctic Ringed Seal

Posted in Conservation, Critical Habitat, National Marine Fisheries Service

On December 3, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published its proposed rule designating critical habitat for the threatened Arctic Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida hispida).  (79 Fed. Reg. 71,714).  The proposed designation, if finalized, would mark one of the largest critical habitat designations in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi seas, consisting of millions of acres.  The… Continue Reading

Reading the Tea Leaves: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lists, Designates Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage-Grouse – Is the Greater Sage Grouse Next?

Posted in Critical Habitat, Listing

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed as “threatened” and designated over 1.4 million acres of critical habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), the smaller cousin of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).  The Gunnison sage-grouse’s (Gunnison) current range is limited to southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. The regulations came as a blow… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for Cuckoo Critical Habitat

Posted in Critical Habitat

As we reported in October, after significant pressure from Congress, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its intent to re-open the public comment period on its proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah,… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for Cuckoo Under Pressure from Congress

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will re-open the public comment period on its proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.  The announcement came after 17 members of Congress requested that… Continue Reading

Two Final Rules Designate One of Largest Critical Habitat Areas in History

Posted in Critical Habitat

On Wednesday, two final rules were released designating critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Together, the rules represent one of the largest areas of critical habitat ever designated under the ESA. The first rule, promulgated by the National Marine Fisheries Service… Continue Reading

Proposed Critical Habitat Rules Expand Reach of Critical Habitat Protections Under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Critical Habitat

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed two important new rules (50 CFR Part 402 and 50 CFR Part 424) implementing the critical habitat provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed rules expand the regulatory definition of “critical habitat” and “adverse modification” –… 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

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Affirms Listing of the White Bluffs Bladderpod

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently affirmed (pdf) its decision to list the White Bluffs bladderpod (Physaria douglasii subsp. tuplashensis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Service also revised its designation of critical habitat for the plant species to exclude certain private and state lands in Franklin County, Washington. The Service… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Critical Habitat, Listing, National Marine Fisheries Service

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 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. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On October 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the California and Nevada populations of the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to the Service, this bi-state population is genetically distinct and geographically isolated from other greater sage… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Two Flower Species as Endangered

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On October 3, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Florida Brickell-bush (Brickellia mosieri) and Carter’s Small-flowered Flax (Linum carteri var carteri) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to the Service, the flower species’ habitat in the pine rockland community of Miami-Dade County… 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

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Species of Salamanders and Proposes Listing Two Species of Minnows Endemic to Texas

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On August 19, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) its decision to list the Austin blind salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis) as endangered and the Jollyville Plateau salamander (Eurycea tonkawae) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While the Service’s proposed listing of the two species designated both as endangered, the Service’s… Continue Reading

Critical Habitat Proposed for Rockfish

Posted in Critical Habitat

Yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a notice of proposed rule to designate approximately 1,184 square miles of marine habitat in the Puget Sound as critical habitat for the threatened distinct population segment of yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberriums), the threatened distinct population segment of canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), and the endangered distinct population segment of… Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Designating 36 Marine Areas as Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Posted in Critical Habitat, National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently issued a proposed rule (pdf) designating critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean loggerhead sea turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (Caretta caretta) within the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The 36 marine areas proposed for designation as critical habitat contain one or a combination of nearshore… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Critical Habitat

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

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

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

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protections for Sierra Nevada Amphibians

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On April 25, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) as endangered, the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) as endangered, and the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Designate Almost 740 Miles of Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On March 25, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to designate critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed critical habitat includes almost 740 miles of coastline in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,… Continue Reading

Comment Period Extended for Proposed Listing of Gunnison Sage Grouse

Posted in Critical Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On March 13, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) extended (pdf) the public comment period for two proposed rules relating to the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus).  As we previously reported, the Service published a proposed rule to list the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in January.  In conjunction with that proposed… Continue Reading