Monthly Archives: February 2013

ESA Legislation Proposed to Prohibit Certain Settlements and Awards

Yesterday, a Republican Senator from Texas, John Cornyn, introduced a bill (pdf) that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from settling environmental lawsuits without first publishing the complaint "in a readily accessible manner, including electronically," and allowing "affected parties" an opportunity to intervene.  The bill further provides that the filing of any motion to dismiss or for … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Strikes NMFS Biological Opinion Regarding Pesticide Registrations

In a unanimous panel decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held (pdf) that a biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of three pesticides on certain salmonids “was not the product of reasoned decision-making.”  The Fourth Circuit refused to “silently rubber stamp” an agency … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Special Final Rule to Manage the Polar Bear

On February 20, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final special rule (pdf) to manage the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rule effectively maintains the management and conservation framework that has been in effect for the polar bear since it … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates 9,600 Acres of Critical Habitat for Coachella Valley Milk Vetch

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated (pdf) approximately 9,600 acres as critical habitat for the endangered Coachella Valley milk vetch (Astragalus lentifinosus var. coachellae). The critical habitat designation covers four areas within the greater Coachella Valley area near Palm Springs, California. As a result of the designation, federal agencies must consult with FWS under the … Continue Reading

California Fish and Game Commission Makes Great White Shark a Candidate Under California Endangered Species Act

On February 6, 2013, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to make the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  The Commission determined that listing the species as threatened or endangered under CESA may be warranted, and initiated a one-year comprehensive review to evaluate the status … Continue Reading

Washington State District Court Holds Claims Brought Under Citizen Suit Provision of the Endangered Species Act are Not Limited to Record Review

In Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11955, *1 (Jan. 28, 2013), the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington held (pdf) that claims arising under the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are not subject to the strictures of … Continue Reading

REI CEO May Be Next Secretary of the Interior

As recently reported by a number of news agencies, President Obama will nominate Sally Jewell, the Chief Executive Officer of REI, to be the next Secretary of the Interior.  If the nomination is approved by the Senate, she will be replacing a vacancy created by Ken Salazar, who announced in January that he will be … Continue Reading