On October 7, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") announced that the California state fish, the California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita), did not warrant listing under the federal Endangered Species Act because "conservation measures throughout the trout's historic range have done much to protect the species."
In 2000, Trout Unlimited petitioned the Service to list the California golden trout citing habitat degradation from grazing, hybridization and introgression threats from introduced rainbow trout, predation and ...
On October 13, 2011, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the nexus of science and policy related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to a press release issued by the House, the purpose of the hearing was to "highlight how science is used in policy decisions that are made under [the ESA]." The witnesses at the hearing were:
- Mr. Gary Frazer, Assistant Director, Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- The Honorable Craig Manson, General ...
Last week, the Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) announced a 12-month finding (PDF) that the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) does not warrant protection as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service’s finding was in response to a petition from the Defenders of Wildlife and a private citizen to list the species as endangered.
In April 2010, the Service issued a finding that concluded the petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Mohave ground squirrel may be ...
Proposed revisions (pdf) to the draft Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan / Natural Community Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) were released last month to address the hundreds of comments received regarding the draft plan, which was issued in December 2010. The draft plan and comment letters are available for viewing here.
The Santa Clara Valley HCP/NCCP is intended to identify conservation and mitigation measures to protect species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), while allowing for orderly ...
On September 30, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California upheld (pdf) a decision of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to approve management measures developed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in conjunction with the Council's decision to open the commercial and recreational fishery for Fall-run Chinook salmon in the Central Valley for the 2011 season. The NMFS decision had been challenged by the San Joaquin River Group Authority, a California joint powers authority made up of member agencies that own or operate ...
Recently, we reported on an unusual bad faith finding made by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in litigation challenging the 2008 biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regarding the effects of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project on the delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus). Thus far, the Department of the Interior has reacted to the bad faith finding by expressing its confidence in agency personnel involved in the matter. Mike Taugher of the Contra Costa Times reported that Department of ...
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 279-page memorandum decision (pdf) on cross-motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases involving challenges to the June 4, 2009 biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of continued operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California on five listed fish species. The court considered dozens of claims advanced by plaintiffs and held for plaintiffs in whole or in part with respect to about half of the claims while ...
In 1978, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. On September 16, 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a Final Rule revising the listing for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle from a single threatened species to nine distinct population segments. In the Final Rule five distinct population segments were listed as endangered and four were listed as threatened. Jim Lecky, director of protected species at NOAA Fisheries, stated ...
On September 16, 2011, in litigation challenging a biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternative issued with respect to the effects of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California on the threatened delta smelt, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California made a finding of agency bad faith by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The finding was incorporated into the court's ruling from the bench on motions to stay filed by federal defendants and intervenor environmental groups after the court issued a decision on August 31 ...
The California Legislature has sent to the Governor legislation authorizing the Department of Fish and Game to permit the incidental take of 36 fully protected species pursuant to a natural community conservation plan approved by the Department. (Senate Bill 618 (Wolk).) The legislation, in effect, gives fully protected species the same level of protection as is provided under the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCP Act) for endangered and threatened species. (Cal. Fish & Game Code § 2835.) The legislation removes a significant regulatory barrier to the ...
Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.
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