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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Ashley Remillard

Ashley Remillard Ashley Remillard advises clients on the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act with respect to significant contributors to ecosystem decline in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Ms. Remillard also works on issues pertaining to the development of habitat conservation plans under the ESA, including the development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the related NEPA analysis.Ms. Remillard's environmental experience is complemented by her experience in public agency and public contract law, construction and procurement law, and innovative project delivery methods. Prior to joining Nossaman's Environment & Land Use Practice Group, she was a member of the firm's Infrastructure Practice Group. As a member of that group, she has been the primary associate on large-scale public procurements requiring client contact, day-to-day project management, and coordination of document production. Her responsibilities included drafting procurement and contract documents for design-build and public-private partnership projects. She was also a member of the team working for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on possible use of public-private partnerships for development of transit projects.

Posts by Ashley Remillard

2016 Year-End ESA Round-Up

Posted in Court Decisions, Delisting, Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service

The last few weeks of 2016 involved several activities relating to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the following: On December 27, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued the final ESA Compensatory Mitigation Policy. According to FWS, the new policy addresses permittee-responsible mitigation, conservation banking, in lieu fee programs, and other third-party… Continue Reading

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Challenges U.S Fish and Wildlife’s Release of Mexican Wolves

Posted in Legal

Pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) appeal from a district court decision enjoining the Service from releasing Mexican wolves into New Mexico without the requisite state permits. In June 2016, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (“Department”) challenged the Service’s… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Adds Ten Species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Updates the Listings of Five other Species

Posted in Listing

On November 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule adding ten species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and updating the listings of five other species. Of the ten new species added, only one, the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), occurs in the United States.  The grouper, which… Continue Reading

ESA Round Up – Recent Cases and Policy

Posted in Court Decisions

In the last several days there has been a flurry of end-of-summer activity, with federal courts issuing a number of Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions: On September 2, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)… Continue Reading

ESA Round-Up – Summer 2016

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing, National Marine Fisheries Service

In the past few weeks, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published several Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions, including the following: On August 1, 2016, NMFS published a 12-month finding on a petition to list the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) under the ESA. According to NMFS,… Continue Reading

Federal Wildlife Agencies Release Draft Revisions to Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook

Posted in Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released draft revisions to their joint Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (Handbook).  The proposed revisions are intended to address concerns raised by the regulated community regarding the habitat conservation plan (HCP) program implemented under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)…. Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog

Posted in Critical Habitat

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule designating approximately 65,038 acres and 20.3 river miles of critical habitat for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa).  The acres and river miles comprising the critical habitat designation are located in Whatcom, Skagit, Thurston, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties in Washington,… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues 12-Month Findings on Four Species

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service

On April 5, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued 12-month findings on petitions to list the island marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus), the San Bernardino flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus californicus), the spotless crake (Porzana tabuensis), and the Sprague’s pipit (Anthus spragueii) under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service concluded that the listing… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds Polar Bear Critical Habitat Designation

Posted in Court Decisions

On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) designation of critical habitat in Alaska for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus).  Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n v. Jewell, No. 13-35919 (9th Cir. Feb. 29, 2016).  The Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision, reinstating… Continue Reading

NMFS Designates Additional Critical Habitat for North Atlantic Right Whales

Posted in Critical Habitat, National Marine Fisheries Service

On January 27, 2016, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule designating approximately 29,763 nautical square miles of marine habitat for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). The critical habitat is comprised of two areas, with the first region in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank and the second region… Continue Reading

ESA Roundup – Lawmakers and Lions, Oh My!

Posted in Congress, Listing

After weeks of negotiations, on December 18, 2015, Congress finally approved the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending bill.  One hotly debated issue related to the controversial greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).  Republicans had hoped to include a rider rolling back the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service’s sage grouse conservation plans… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Modoc Sucker

Posted in Delisting

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule removing the Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps) from the list of threatened and endangered species.  The Modoc sucker, a small fish native to the Upper Pit River Watershed in southern Oregon and northeastern California, was listed as endangered under the Endangered… Continue Reading

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Removes Gray Wolf from State Endangered Species List

Posted in Delisting

On November 9, 2015, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) voted to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from protection under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.  The Commission meeting lasted almost 10 hours, with more than 100 people providing public testimony.  The decision was the result of a 4-2 vote by the Commission. The… Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Rejects Challenges to Final Rule Terminating Sea Otter Translocation Program.

Posted in Court Decisions

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected the assertion by the California Sea Urchin Commission, California Abalone Association, and Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara (Plaintiffs) that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) lacked authority to issue a final rule terminating the California sea otter (Enhydra lutris… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues 90-Day Findings on Petitions to List 25 Plant and Animal Species

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued 90-day findings on 25 petitions to list various plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Of the 25 petitions, the Service concluded that 23 petitions presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted, and initiated 12-month… Continue Reading

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Proposes Rules Relating to Nesting Birds and Birds of Prey

Posted in Conservation, Regulatory Reform, Uncategorized

On August 14, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to nesting birds and birds of prey.  Specifically, the Department is proposing to adopt regulations implementing the prohibitions found in California Fish and Game Code sections 3503 and 3503.5.  In pertinent part, these sections make it… Continue Reading

District Court Declines to Provide Injunctive Relief for Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the California Bay-Delta

Posted in Court Decisions, Fish & Wildlife Service, Legal, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, finding the plaintiff failed to establish that an emergency salinity barrier would imminently harm species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability (“CESAR”)… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules Approval of Oil Spill Response Plans is Non-Discretionary

Posted in Court Decisions, Legal, Litigation

On June 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (Bureau) approval of oil spill response plans (OSRPs) relating to oil leases in the Beaufort and Chuckchi seas on Alaska’s Arctic coast.   Alaska Wilderness League v. Jewell, No. 13-35866 (9th Cir. June 11, 2015).  Among… Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit Upholds Roadway Project On Lands Formerly Used To Manufacture Nuclear Weapons

Posted in Court Decisions

On April 17, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court decision upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) approval of a roadway project in the Rocky Flats area of Denver, Colorado. WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nos. 12-1508 and 12-1509, slip. op. (10th Cir…. Continue Reading

California Officials Claim Urban Water Restrictions Are Aimed At Balancing Water Needs

Posted in Legislation, Regulatory Reform

In a landmark executive order (pdf) issued on April 1, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown mandated a 25 percent water cutback for urban residents to address the state’s historic drought. Gov. Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to “impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25% reduction in potable urban water usage … as compared… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Declines to List Missouri River Trout Population

Posted in Listing

On August 20, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) declined to list (pdf) the Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment of the Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. According to the Service, ongoing conservation efforts initiated by private landowners and federal and state officials have worked… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Rule Protecting Three Flowers

Posted in Listing

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) protecting three flowers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The three flowers — the Short’s bladderpod (Physaria globosa), fleshy-fruit gladecress (Leavenworthia crassa), and whorled sunflower (Helianthus verticillatus) — are found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. According to the Service, whorled… Continue Reading