Posts from 2015
Posted in Delisting

On November 9, 2015, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) voted to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from protection under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.  The Commission meeting lasted almost 10 hours, with more than 100 people providing public testimony.  The decision was the result of a 4-2 vote by the Commission.

The decision follows the recommendation of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to delist the wolf, as we reported here.  The wolf delisting will not impact the management of the species under the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan ...

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On November 3, 2015, the President issued a memorandum entitled Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment. In it, he states [t]his memorandum will encourage private investment in restoration and public-private partnerships, and help foster opportunities for businesses or non-profit organizations with relevant expertise to successfully achieve restoration and conservation objectives. The memo includes five sections: policy, definitions, federal principles for mitigation, federal action to strengthen ...

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Posted in Delisting

On October 29, 2015, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced that it believes that the gray wolf (Canis lupus) has met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (Oregon ESA). Under the Oregon ESA, ODFW looks at the following five factors to determine if sufficient biological information exists to justify delisting: (1) the species is not now in danger of extinction in any significant portion of its range; (2) the species’ natural reproductive potential is not in danger of failure; (3) the species’ populations are not undergoing imminent ...

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Posted in Conservation

On the heels of the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) decision not to list the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the Endangered Species Act and the concurrent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issuance of Records of Decision on over 98 land use plans focused on sagebrush habitat, the United States Geological Survey (USGS)  and many other agencies announced their issuance of part one of a three-part handbook series focused on sagebrush steppe ecosystems.  Several federal and state entities, including the U.S. Joint Fire Science Program and National ...

Posted in Conservation

On October 16, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the signing of a conservation agreement intended to provide greater protections and more flexibility in the management of impacts to sensitive species and their habitats.  The conservation agreement, called the Durability Agreement, will allow CDFW to use BLM lands for various conservation actions, and occasionally for project-level mitigation to meet California state standards.  The Durability Agreement, developed during coordination between CDFW ...

In a notice published on October 8, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its proposed 12-month finding on the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) petition to list the Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Service determined that listing of the subspecies is not warranted because the fox is more abundant than previously believed and because known and potential stressors to the fox are not likely to cause the subspecies to become endangered in the foreseeable future ...

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During the last week of its fiscal year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) made several findings under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to meet its obligations under the 2011 listing settlement workplan.  Below is a brief summary of these findings.

On September 29, 2015, the Service published a proposed rule to list four plant species from South Florida (specifically Miami-Dade and Monroe counties).  These include the Big Pine partridge pea (Chamaecrista lineata var. keyensis), the wedge spurge (Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. Serpyllum) the sand flax (Linum ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected the assertion by the California Sea Urchin Commission, California Abalone Association, and Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara (Plaintiffs) that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) lacked authority to issue a final rule terminating the California sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) translocation program.  The program was developed to establish a translocated population of sea otters remote from the main population, to help ensure that the entire species would not be wiped ...

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On September 22, 2015, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Department of the Interior is calling the greater sage-grouse strategy the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history and a 21st-century approach to conservation.  In reaching its not warranted finding, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) relied upon the collective conservation efforts of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), State ...

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued 90-day findings on 25 petitions to list various plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Of the 25 petitions, the Service concluded that 23 petitions presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted, and initiated 12-month status reviews for those species to determine if the listing is warranted under the ESA.  These species include:

Species Latin Name Range
Blue Calamintha bee Osmia calaminthae Florida
California ...
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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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