Monthly Archives: December 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Redesignates Critical Habitat for Santa Ana Sucker

On December 14, 2010, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published its final rule (PDF) redesignating critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker, a small fish species occurring in watershed draining the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains of southern California.  The Final Rule designates a total of 9,931 acres across San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, … Continue Reading

Court Sides with Water Agencies and Farmers in Delta Smelt Matter

On December 14, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 225 page decision (pdf) granting in part plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment in The Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, No. 09-407 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2010).  The matter consists of five consolidated actions that all challenge the December 2008 biological … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Remands No Jeopardy Biological Opinion to Fish and Wildlife Service

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Wild Fish Conservancy v. Salazar, issued a decision (pdf) remanding a 2008 biological opinion for the operation of a hatchery for spring-run Chinook salmon to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).  At issue in the biological opinion was the ongoing operation of the … Continue Reading

187,157 Square Miles of Critical Habitat Designated for Polar Bear

On November 24, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule (PDF) designating 187,157 square miles of on- and off-shore habitat in northern Alaska as critical habitat for two populations of polar bear listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service originally proposed to designate 200,541 square miles of critical … Continue Reading

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for Endangered San Diego Ambrosia Plant

On November 30, 2010, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") designated approximately 783 acres of land in Riverside and San Diego Counties, California, as critical habitat for the plant San Diego ambrosia (Ambrosia pumila).  This is approximately 329 acres less than the Service had previously proposed.  The Service’s designation excluded approximately 118 acres of critical habitat that fell within the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.  In its final economic … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Finds National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act

On November 23, 2010, in Humane Society of the United States v. Locke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held (pdf) that NMFS violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) by failing to adequately explain its finding that sea lions are having a “significant negative impact” on the decline or recovery of … Continue Reading