Monthly Archives: June 2012

Monroe County, Florida agrees to take steps to enforce the federal ESA to avoid suspension of the National Flood Insurance Program

According to Ryan McCarthy with KeysNet (June 27, 2012), the County Commission in Monroe County, Florida has agreed to take responsibility for reviewing permits for new development within the county to ascertain whether such development is likely to affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The County took this … Continue Reading

Pacific Coast Population of the Western Snowy Plover Critical Habitat Designation–Is the Third Time a Charm?

On June 19, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its final action designating 24,527 acres as critical habitat for the Pacific coast population of western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus).  The designated critical habitat spans coastal areas in Washington, Oregon, and California to the Mexican border, typically characterized by sparsely vegetated, sandy beaches.  … Continue Reading

Bay Delta Conservation Plan on Uncertain Path; Public Meeting Scheduled for June 20

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a daunting conservation planning exercise.  The affected ecosystems have been irreversibly altered; a number of the covered species are at risk of extinction over the next century; despite the investment of billions of dollars, the monitoring scheme in place is inadequate to provide scientists with data necessary to … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Listing of Healthy Species

On June 12, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision (pdf) upholding the listing of the shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphyrhynchus platorynchus) as a threatened species, although it is by all accounts thriving, and upheld a partial ban on commercial fishing of the shovelnose sturgeon, despite the lack of a similar ban … Continue Reading

Service Decides Against Listing of Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

The Fish and Wildlife Service made a decision (pdf) recently not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  The distribution of the small, light brown lizard is limited to western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The status of the species has been uncertain for a … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Substantial Information Indicating That Delisting or Reclassifying Six Species May Be Warranted

On June 4, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a 90-day finding (pdf) that substantial scientific or commercial information indicates that delisting the Inyo California towhee (Pipilo crissalis eremophilus) and reclassifying from endangered to threatened the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), Indian Knob mountainbalm (Eriodictyon altissimum), Lane Mountain milk-vetch (Astragalus jagerianus), Modoc sucker (Catostomus … Continue Reading

Court denies motion for preliminary relief in case pitting sea lions against salmon

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision (pdf) denying the motion of plaintiff environmental groups for a preliminary injunction to halt lethal removal of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from the Columbia River to reduce predation pressure on salmonids as they migrate past the Bonneville Dam.  The decision is … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Reverses Decision and Holds Forest Service “Approval” of Suction Dredge Mining Notice of Intent Triggers Duty to Consult

On June 1, 2012, a sharply divided Ninth Circuit sitting en banc filed an opinion in Karuk Tribe of California v. U.S. Forest Service, No. 05-16801 (June 1, 2012) (pdf) holding that U.S. Forest Service "approvals" of notices of intent (NOIs) to undertake suction dredge mining are discretionary agency actions that may affect listed coho salmon designated critical habitat in the Klamath … Continue Reading