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Endangered Species Law and Policy

Katrina (Diaz) Wu

Katrina (Diaz) Wu Katrina (Diaz) Wu is a member of the Firm's Environment and Land Use Practice Group. As a summer associate for Nossaman in 2011, Ms. Wu researched and prepared legal arguments for appellate brief regarding CEQA compliance and the California Constitution, as well as prepared memoranda on various legal issues such as eminent domain, judicial notice and statute of limitations. Ms. Wu's prior experience includes working as a legal research assistant for Justice Kathleen E. O'Leary at the California 4th District Court of Appeal, Division Three, and serving as a law clerk for the City Attorney and the Public Law Center.

Posts by Katrina (Diaz) Wu

Court Allows ESA Claims Involving Oversight of Pesticides to Move Forward

Posted in Court Decisions, Fish & Wildlife Service

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293-JCS (pdf), plaintiffs alleged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by failing to initiate and reinitiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to its ongoing oversight of 382 active… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Downgrades Wood Stork From Endangered to Threatened

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) reclassifying the U.S. breeding population of the wood stork (Mycteria americana) from endangered to threatened. According to the Service, when the wood stork was listed as endangered in 1984, the population was decreasing at a rate of five percent per year. The Service… Continue Reading

Two Plant Species May Find Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has issued a final rule (pdf) listing the Kentucky Glade Cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. laciniata) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Kentucky Glade Cress, a small, lilac-colored wildflower, is located in parts of Jefferson and Bullitt counties in Kentucky.  The primary threat to the species… Continue Reading

Natural Resources Committee Discusses Endangered Species Act Reform

Posted in Congress, Fish & Wildlife Service, Regulatory 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

Proposed Bill Seeks to Require Federal Agencies to Count Species on State, Tribal, and Private Lands before Listing the Species under the ESA

Posted in Congress, Fish & Wildlife Service, Legislation, Regulatory Reform

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart (UT) recently introduced a bill (pdf) that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require federal wildlife agencies to include the number of species found on state, tribal, and private lands in its official count when determining whether a species should be protected under the ESA.  Currently, the ESA does not include… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Texas Salamanders as Threatened

Posted in Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule (pdf) listing the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and the Salado salamander (Eureycea chisholmensis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service also issued a proposed special rule for the Georgetown salamander under section 4(d) of the ESA, which authorizes the take of… Continue Reading

Congressional Working Group Seeks Reform of the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Congress, Legislation, Regulatory Reform

Members of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congressional Working Group recently released a final report (pdf) asserting that the ESA “is not working” and providing four recommendations for improvement. The report is the result of an eight-month effort led by Republican Representatives Doc Hastings (WA) and Cynthia Lummis (WY) to examine the ESA. The group… 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 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

Committee Recommends Delisting Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

Posted in Delisting, Fish & Wildlife Service

Last week, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, a panel consisting of federal, state, local, and tribal representatives, recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) remove the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If the Service agrees, it will initiate the… Continue Reading

Oversight of Pesticide Ingredients May Trigger a Duty to Consult under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Court Decisions

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293 (pdf), plaintiffs sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging that EPA’s oversight of pesticide ingredients, including trifluralin, triggered a duty to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service about trifluralin’s possible effects on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). EPA and defendant… 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 Proposes Delisting the Inyo California Towhee

Posted in Delisting, Fish & Wildlife Service

                                                       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

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 Proposes Listing the Rufa Red Knot as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act

Posted in Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently proposed listing (pdf) the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The red knot is a medium-sized shorebird about 9 to 11 inches in length that migrates more than 9,000 miles annually between its breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic and… 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

District Court Holds Claims Under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act do not Require 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue

Posted in Court Decisions, Fish & Wildlife Service, Litigation

On July 22, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held (pdf) that plaintiffs’ claims regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) alleged violation of section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) were not subject to the 60 day notice of intent to sue (NOI) requirement. In 1997, the… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Delisting the Gray Wolf

Posted in Delisting, Fish & Wildlife Service, Listing

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a proposed rule (pdf) to delist the gray wolf (Canis lupus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) throughout the United States and Mexico. The proposed rule also proposes to maintain protection for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in the Southwest by listing… 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

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes a Merger of its West Coast Regions

Posted in Regulatory Reform

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently proposed merging its Southwest and Northwest administrative regions, which would result in a savings of $3 million annually in management costs. NMFS is a component of the Department of Commerce, and is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act as it applies to marine species and their habitats.  Currently,… Continue Reading