Monthly Archives: September 2010

Listing of Gunnison sage-grouse is “warranted but precluded.”

On Monday, September 27, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its determination that the Gunnison sage-grouse warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act, but that proposing that it be listed as threatened or endangered be postponed while the Service addresses the needs of higher priority species. Historically, the Gunnison sage-grouse occupied southwestern Colorado, … Continue Reading

Man Pleads Guilty to Intentionally Ramming Whales in Violation of ESA

Last week, a man in southeast Alaska pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by twice intentionally ramming the boat he was operating into humpback whales, a listed species under the Act.  Federal prosecutors charged Kevin Carle with “knowingly harassing, pursuing and harming whales,” a violation that resulted in two years of probation and a $1,025 … Continue Reading

Dramatic Drop Reported in Palila Population

Recently, a number of news outlets reported that the population of the palila (Loxioides bailleui), a Hawaiian songbird that the Fish and Wildlife Service listed as endangered in 1967 under the predecessor to the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA), has decline dramatically in recent years according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and … Continue Reading

District Court Upholds Certain Aspects of Canada Lynx Critical Habitat Rule but Remands Economic Analysis

Two statewide snowmobile associations challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 final rule designating critical habitat for the contiguous United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx on the grounds the Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  In an order (PDF) dated September 10, 2010, the United States … Continue Reading

National Research Council Agrees to Review Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan by April 2011

As we previously reported, representatives of the Federal government asked the National Research Council’s Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta to consider amending its existing task by agreeing to conduct a review of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  In a letter (PDF) dated September 10, 2010 and addressed to … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Northern Spotted Owl

The Service released a draft Revised Recovery Plan (PDF) for the northern spotted owl dated September 8, 2010.  The species, which inhabits portions of California, Oregon, and Washington, was listed as threatened in 1990.  A chronology of regulatory actions taken by the Service with respect to the northern spotted owl is available here (PDF).  According … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Amends Earlier Opinion Regarding Adverse Modification of Critical Habitat

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit amended an opinion it filed earlier this year in Butte Environmental Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we wrote about here.  The case concerns a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) finding that a proposed business park would not adversely modify the critical habitat of … Continue Reading

ESA Take Prohibition Does Not Apply to Endangered Plants On Privately-Owned Wetlands

The Ninth Circuit issued a decision (PDF) recently in which it held that the removal of an endangered plant from privately-owned “waters of the United States” is not a violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Section 9(a)(2)(B) of the ESA makes it unlawful to “remove and reduce to possession any [endangered species of plant] … Continue Reading