Monthly Archives: June 2011

Court Upholds the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Interpretation of “Endangered Species” and Decision to List the Polar Bear as Threatened

In a closely watched and hotly contested challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the Polar Bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the final listing rule at 73 Fed. Reg. 28,212 (May 15, 2008) (pdf), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a 116-page opinion … Continue Reading

Independent Panel Raises Serious Questions Regarding Efficacy of Klamath Dam Removal Plan

A plan to remove four dams along the Klamath River, which flows from Oregon through California to the Pacific Ocean, has major proponents including the federal government, the States of California and Oregon, and a number of environmental groups.  But in a June 13, 2011 report (pdf), an independent review panel has raised serious questions … Continue Reading

Arizona Wildfires Appear to Have Spared Endangered Wolves

                                            The wildfires in Arizona have raged through forests and burned down homes, but as recently reported by the Washington Post, three packs of endangered Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) appear to have been spared.  (Story by Associated Press, June 23, 2011).  Firefighters have spotted two of … Continue Reading

Arizona District Court Dismisses Section 7(a)(1) Challenge to Forest Service

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona entered summary judgment (pdf) for the United States Forest Service in a case filed by Defenders of Wildlife and other plaintiffs alleging the Forest Service failed to fulfill its duty to conserve under section 7(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The case focused on … Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Reaffirms Threatened Status for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced its determination to retain the listing of the Oregon Coast (OC) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The agency’s determination was published (pdf) in the Federal Register on June 20, 2011.  NMFS first proposed listing of the Oregon coast coho … Continue Reading

Fish & Wildlife Service Re-Opens Comment Period for California Tiger Salamander Critical Habitat Designation

The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) that it has re-opened the comment period on its August 18, 2009 proposed designation of critical habitat for the Sonoma County Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) under the Endangered Species Act.  The Service is reopening the comment period to allow interested parties an … Continue Reading

NOAA Draft Policy on Scientific Integrity Open for Public Comment

On June 16, 2011, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a draft of its scientific integrity policy (pdf).  The policy comes in response to President Obama’s March 9, 2009 memorandum directing the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to consult with relevant executive departments and agencies to recommend a plan to achieve … Continue Reading

Court Denies Temporary Restraining Order to Lift Pumping Restrictions in the Delta

As reported on June 15, 2011 by John Ellis and Mark Grossi of the Fresno Bee, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion for temporary restraining order that sought to order the Department of the Interior to lift pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Judge Wanger ruled that … Continue Reading

Desert Tortoise Website in the Crosshairs of Obama Administration

On June 13, 2011, President Obama and Vice President Biden announced the Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste. As part of that campaign, the Administration is seeking to eliminate a multitude of websites the government now maintains.  Both the President and Vice President singled out a website dedicated to the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) – a … Continue Reading