Posts from 2013

On November 1, 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as lead agency, and the U.S. Forest Service (Service), as cooperating agency, issued the Nevada and Northeast California Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  The EIS evaluates six alternatives for land use plan management amendments (LUPA) focusing on conservation measures covering approximately 17.7 million acres of land administered by BLM and the Service in Nevada and northeast California spanning 16 Nevada counties, four California counties, and one ...

Posted in Listing

This week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed (pdf) 15 species on the island of Hawaii as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Among the species protected are the anchialine pool shrimp (Vetericaris chaceorum), an extremely rare species of shrimp of which only five individuals have ever been observed, and the picture-wing fly (Drosophila digressa). In addition, the Service listed 13 species of plants, including sunflowers, asters, shrubs, and other small trees. Specifically, the haha (Cyanea marksii), aku (Cyanea tritomantha), and ...

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Tags: Listing

On October 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the California and Nevada populations of the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to the Service, this bi-state population is genetically distinct and geographically isolated from other greater sage grouse populations, and warrants protection under the ESA.

Primary threats to the species include degradation of habitat by livestock grazing and invasive plant species, fragmentation of habitat ...

Posted in Listing

Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued two proposed rules for the Vandenberg monkeyflower (Diplacus vandenbergensis), a small annual herb only known to occur at nine locations in western Santa Barbara County.   The first rule proposes to designate the Vandenberg monkeyflower as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The second rule proposes to designate approximately 5,785 acres of critical habitat in Santa Barbara County, California for the Vandenberg monkeyflower.  In a notice, the Service states that the "primary threat to the ...

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Tags: Listing
Posted in Delisting

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule (pdf) delisting the eastern distinct population segment (DPS) of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) from the list of threatened and endangered species. NMFS concluded that delisting is warranted because the species has met the recovery criteria outlined in its 2008 recovery plan and no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

According to NMFS, the eastern DPS Steller sea lion population has increased from an estimated 18,040 ...

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Tags: Delisting
Posted in Conservation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun the process of updating California’s Wildlife Action Plan, a guidance document that sets goals for improving the state’s wildlife resources. CDFW is holding a series of scoping meetings through November 13 of this year at various locations throughout the state.

To be eligible to receive federal funds under the State Wildlife Grants Program, each state must have a State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and update its SWAP every 10 years. The intent of ...

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published (pdf) its final determination that the ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) at this time. The Service’s announcement constitutes its 12-month finding on a petition to list the species filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (Center).

The ashy storm-petrel is a small seabird that ranges from the California-Oregon border to Islas San Benitos, Mexico. The Service determined that climate change, invasive species, human activities, military ...

Posted in Listing

Getting back into the swing of things, earlier today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) does not warrant listing at this time, and commented on its proposal to list the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) (pdf) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  The notice issued by the Service states that the "primary threat to the northern long-eared bat is a disease, white-nose syndrome, which has killed an estimated 5.5 million cave-hibernating bats in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Canada."  ...

On October 3, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Florida Brickell-bush (Brickellia mosieri) and Carter’s Small-flowered Flax (Linum carteri var carteri) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

According to the Service, the flower species’ habitat in the pine rockland community of Miami-Dade County has been drastically reduced due to residential and commercial development and agriculture. Moreover, there is a potential for high levels of nutrients from agricultural and urban areas to seep into the ...

Posted in Legislation

On September 20, 2013, H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (pdf), was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 244-173. Shortly thereafter, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Notably, H.R. 1526 includes provisions that, for certain projects authorized under the bill, would alter the way interagency consultation is conducted under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and would foreclose parties from seeking relief in federal court prior to obtaining a final, unappealable decision on the merits.

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash,) and has 22 co-sponsors. Its principal stated purpose is to restore employment and educational opportunities in, and improve the economic stability of, counties containing National Forest System land, while also reducing Forest Service management costs, by ensuring that such counties have a dependable source of revenue from National Forest System land. Section 103(a) of the bill calls for the Secretary of Agriculture to designate Forest Reserve Revenue Areas for each unit in the National Forest System. Section 104(a) authorizes and encourages the Secretary to commence covered forest reserve projects in Forest Reserve Revenue Areas.

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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