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Do Freshwater Mussels Deserve ESA Protection?

On August 10, 2018, the representative from Indiana’s 4th Congressional District introduced a bill entitled: “To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to remove freshwater mussels from the list of endangered and threatened species.”  While the text of the bill isn’t yet available, based on the title of the bill one can reasonably surmise that … Continue Reading

Agencies and Lawmakers Seek ESA Reform

In recent weeks, the Trump Administration and Congress have proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and its implementing regulations. Lawmakers from the Congressional Western Caucus introduced nine bills that would, according to the 15 legislators that introduced the bills, amend and modernize the ESA.  The lawmakers assert that the bills would also incentivize … Continue Reading

Senator Barrasso Continues Efforts to Modernize the Endangered Species Act

The most comprehensive Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) bill of this Congressional session made its debut on July 2, 2018 when Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (“EPW”) Committee, released a discussion draft of a bill proposing sweeping revisions to the ESA.  The discussion draft is a culmination of activity … Continue Reading

U.S. House Passes Bill Allowing Removal of Sea Lions to Protect Endangered Fish Species

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the “Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act” (Act) (H.R. 2083), co-sponsored by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), allowing for the lethal removal of California and Steller sea lions (Zalophus californianus and Eumetopias jubatus) to protect endangered salmon (populations of Oncorhynchus nerka, Oncorhynchus … Continue Reading

Bill to Consolidate Endangered Species Act Oversight Advances Out of Committee

On May 16, 2018, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed six bills, including the Federally Integrated Species Health Act (H.R. 3916).  H.R. 3916 is sponsored by Representative Ken Calvert, a Republican representing the 42nd Congressional District in California.  The bill proposes to amend the federal Endangered Species Act to vest the Secretary of Interior with Endangered … Continue Reading

Arizona becomes the First State to Eliminate Chevron Deference

On April 11, 2018, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law H.B. 2238, which amended the state’s administrative procedure laws to provide that courts are not required to defer to an agency’s legal interpretation in lawsuits over administrative decisions. The amendment effectively eliminated “Chevron deference,” which requires courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation … Continue Reading

The Power of the Purse, and What That Potentially Means This Holiday Season

Long ago, the framers of the Constitution decided to separate the federal government’s powers into three branches, with each branch acting as a check on the other.  Broadly speaking, the legislative branch writes the law, the judicial branch decides what the law means, and the executive branch decides how to enforce the law.  Sometimes, however, the powers … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Seeks To Clarify Lack Of Liability for Incidental and Accidental Take under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

On November 8, 2017, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources approved an amendment to oil and gas-related legislation, the SECURE Act (H.R. 4239), that is intended to obviate liability for the incidental or accidental take of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. § 703 et seq. (“Act”).  The amendment, submitted … Continue Reading
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