Posts from 2012
Posted in Court Decisions

On December 26, 2012, in Strahan v. Roughead (pdf), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied a motion brought by federal defendants to dismiss as moot plaintiffs’ claims that the Navy is operating vessels in a manner that takes listed whales in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and failing to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the impacts of such operations in violation of section 7 of the ESA. The pro se plaintiff is alleging that the Navy, through the operation of its vessels and its military ...

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed upgrading the status of the wood stork (Mycteria americana) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed change is in response to improvements in the population and habitat of the species based on the best available scientific information.

Dan Ashe, Director for the Service, remarked that the proposed reclassification "demonstrates that the [ESA] works" and that "the species is making real progress toward recovery."  The wood stork was ...

Posted in Conservation

This week endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com crossed the 100,000 hits threshold.  We thank you, our readers, for your interest in the blog.  We will continue to work to provide timely and informative updates regarding legal and policy developments related to the management and conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Posted in Listing

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed listing (pdf) four subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service also proposed designating 9,234 acres of critical habitat in Thurston and Pierce counties in the state of Washington. The four subspecies proposed for listing are the Olympia, Roy Prairie, Tenino and Yelm pocket gophers. The Service declared a fifth subspecies, the Tacoma pocket gopher, as extinct. The pocket gophers were proposed for listing last October, but the action ...

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Tags: Listing

On December 4, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho denied a request to amend its previous order reversing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) 2009 Final Rule listing the slickspot peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Plaintiffs sought to reverse the court's August 2012 decision (pdf) to vacate the Service's determination in order to allow the listing to remain in place pending additional review.

The ESA defines "threatened" as "likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In an order issued on December 6, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought by Wild Equity and other plaintiffs alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act’s take prohibition by the City and County of San Francisco.  The decision, in Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco, N.D. Cal. Case No. C 11-958, closes a chapter in the longstanding effort of local environmental groups to shut down the historic Sharp Park golf course, which is located along the Pacific Ocean in the City of Pacifica and owned ...

On November 26, 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or the Service) accepted a petition to delist a distinct population segment (DPS) of the Southern Resident killer whales, which is currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

The DPS, estimated to include 88 individuals, was initially listed as endangered under the ESA in 2005.  These killer whales are "resident" type, fish-eating whales that spend a specific period of time each year in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound. 

On August 2, 2012, the Service received a petition from the ...

On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a proposed rule (pdf) to list the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  While voluntary conservation planning efforts are ongoing, the Service decided (pdf) to move forward with the proposed rule based on scientific evidence that the lesser prairie-chicken and its habitat are in decline.  The Service encouraged the public and scientific community to comment on the proposed rule during the 90-day comment period.  The Service ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On November 30, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held (pdf) that because the National Marine Fisheries Service had considered the economic impacts of designating certain areas as critical habitat for the threatened green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), the Service complied with its obligations under section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act. 

Section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act states:

The Secretary shall designate critical habitat, and make revisions thereto, . . . on the basis of the best ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon dismissed claims brought by environmental organizations under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prevent unlawful take of marbled murrelets (brachyramphus marmoratus). Cascadia Wildlands v. Kitzhaber, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166966, at *2 (D. Or. Nov. 27, 2012) (pdf). Plaintiffs alleged that defendants, including individual members of the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Land Board, violated the ESA by (1) authorizing timber sales on specific tracts of forestland, (2) approving forest ...

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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