Monthly Archives: January 2013

Court Vacates Critical Habitat Designation for Polar Bear

On January 10, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska issued an order (pdf) vacating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s critical habitat designation for the polar bear after concluding that the Service failed to comply with substantive and procedural requirements in the Endangered Species Act.  Specifically, the district court found that the administrative record produced … Continue Reading

California Lawmakers Propose Bill To Address Federal Policy Regarding Tree-Removal On Levees

On January 23, 2013, over 25 California delegates to the House of Representatives introduced a bill, H.R. 399 (pdf), addressing the federal rules requiring trees growing on levees to be removed. Specifically, the bill would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to review its policy about vegetation-removal on levees, in order to consider allowing … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Rule to List Gunnison Sage-Grouse as Endangered

 On January 11, 2013, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  As we previously reported, the sage-grouse had been on the candidate species list since January of 2000, but the Service was not authorized to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds Idaho Roadless Rule, Finding U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Reliance on U.S. Forest Service Commitments Reasonable

In Jayne v. Sherman, — F.3d —, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 417, *1 (9th Cir. Jan. 7, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld (pdf) a biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the Idaho Roadless Rule. Plaintiffs argued that FWS violated the Endangered Species … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to Controversial ESA Settlement

On January 4, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held (pdf) that Safari Club International (Safari Club) lacked standing to intervene as a matter of right in the litigation that resulted in two stipulated judgments establishing procedures and deadlines for reviewing listing and critical habitat determinations for 251 candidate species, thereby affirming the decision … Continue Reading

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Recommends Listing Northeastern Pacific Population of White Sharks as Endangered or Threatened Under California Endangered Species Act

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) has determined (pdf) that there is sufficient scientific information to petition to list the Northeastern Pacific (NEP) population of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.  Currently, the take and possession of white sharks is protected from sport and commercial fishing … Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Lists Two Arctic Seals Under the Endangered Species Act

On December 28, 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule (pdf) listing three subspecies of the ringed seal as threatened and one subspecies as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The same day, NMFS listed (pdf) two distinct population segments of the bearded seal as threatened under the ESA. Based … Continue Reading

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Controversial Settlement

On December 17, 2012, the National Association of Home Builders, the Olympia Master Builders, the Home Builder Association of Greater Austin, and the Texas Salamander Coalition, Inc., filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ken Salazar, in his official capacity, alleging that when the Service entered into stipulated settlements with WildEarth Guardians (pdf) and … Continue Reading