Posts from 2011
Posted in Listing

Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) has filed an amendment to S. 782 (pdf), a bill entitled the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011, that would block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) as endangered.

The amendment would make good on half of the proposal of House Republicans from West Texas and southeastern New Mexico earlier this Spring (blogged about here) to use legislation to exempt the lizard and the lesser prarie chicken from the Endangered Species Act.

Opponents of the proposed rule (pdf) to list ...

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Tags: Listing

The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed (pdf) revising the current critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by extending the current designation in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands out to the 500-meter depth contour, including Sand Island at Midway Islands; and by designating six new areas in the main Hawaiian Islands, including Kaula Island, Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui nui, and Hawaii.  One article reporting on the proposal states that "[t]he Hawaiian monk seal is facing some ...

In a decision that addresses a number of the more difficult issues the federal wildlife agencies grapple with during the section 7 consultation process, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona recently struck down (pdf) a biological opinion (pdf) issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service for ongoing operations at Fort Huachuca that affect species in the upper San Pedro River area of southeastern Arizona. The court also held that the Department of the Army violated its section 7 obligation by relying on the legally flawed biological opinion.

Fort Huachuca is a major military base in southeastern Arizona. Base operations affect two listed species, the endangered Huachuca water umbel (Lilaeopsis schaffneriana ssp. recurva) and the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). The court identified two categories of impacts to the species: direct and indirect effects of activities within the Fort’s boundaries and indirect effects on a portion of the San Pedro River including groundwater and surface water consumption.

On June 1, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided notice of a proposed revision to the Riverside fairy shrimp's designated critical habitat that would add approximately  2,678 acres, raising the total designated critical habitat to approximately 2,984 acres.  The additional lands proposed to be designated are located in Ventura, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties in California.

The proposed revision is to a 2005 final critical habitat designation that identified 306 acres.  The notice recently issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ...

Posted in Litigation

The states of Oregon and Washington have agreed to suspend the lethal removal of California sea lions caught eating endangered salmon and steelhead just below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. The sea lion removal program had been implemented to reduce the number of sea lions that prey on salmon and steelhead listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the sea lions have a significant effect on the ability of the fish stocks to recover. The agreement was reached between wildlife advocates, including the ...

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Posted in Listing

The Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a five-year review of 53 species under the Endangered Species Act.  The subject-species consist mainly of various frogs, butterflies, moths, snakes and lizards, including the El Segundo blue butterfly, San Francisco garter snake, California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander (Central), Western snowy plover, Longhorn fairy shrimp, and Vernal pool fairy shrimp.  Several plant species are also under review.  The purpose of the five-year review is to determine whether any of the species should be removed from the endangered ...

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Tags: Listing

The White House recently unveiled plans to improve the federal regulatory system developed in response to an Executive Order issued by President Obama, which include a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to improve administration of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposal is reproduced in Departmental workplans submitted by both Interior (pdf) and Commerce (pdf).  It includes the following actions:

  • Minimize requirements for written descriptions of critical habitat boundaries in favor of map- and internet-based ...

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has authorized (pdf) the states of Washington and Oregon to lethally remove California sea lions that eat thousands of endangered salmon and steelhead just below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. According to NMFS, the small number of sea lions that prey on salmon and steelhead listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have a significant effect on the ability of the fish stocks to recover. While the population of California sea lions is considered healthy and stable, the population of salmon and steelhead ...

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On May 17, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stayed its approval of a proposed settlement agreement (Agreement) aimed at expediting findings related to petitions to list 251 species. The Center for Biological Diversity (Center) opposed approval of the Agreement after being left out of the negotiation process.

As we previously reported, plaintiff WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) entered into the Agreement with the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), under which the Service agreed to a six-year work plan to address ...

On May 11, Representatives Nunes, Denham, and McCarthy introduced H.R. 1837 (pdf) "to address water-related concerns on the San Joaquin River, and for other purposes."  A section by section analysis is available here (pdf).

Title I of the bill includes a number of proposed amendments to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), 106 Stat. 4706.  Among other things, it eliminates non-native fish including striped bass from the list of "anadromous fish" that are protected by the CVPIA and it facilitates water transfers.  This title also:

  • specifies that all Endangered ...

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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