Archives: Court Decisions

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FWS Rejects Petitions to List Yellowstone Bison, But Other Listing and Critical Habitat Designations May be Warranted

On August 6, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a 90-day finding that listing the Yellowstone Park bison (Bison bison bison) under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted. FWS also found that listing the Mojave poppy bee (Perdita meconis) and revising the critical habitat designation for the endangered Mount Graham red … Continue Reading

Settlement Eliminates 1,500 Acres of Designated Dusky Gopher Frog Critical Habitat

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and a group of landowners recently settled long-running litigation regarding the Service’s designation of approximately 1,500 acres of private land as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog (Rana sevosa).  The Service designated the private land in Louisiana as critical habitat in 2012.  Weyerhaeuser Co. and local landowners … Continue Reading

Fish and Wildlife Service Moves to Downlist the American Burying Beetle as Threatened, Proposes 4(d) Rule

On May 3, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published a proposed rule to downlist the American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) from endangered to threatened. The Service also proposed a rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) to allow many routine activities to occur within the range of the species, even if they … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups’ NEPA Challenge to USDA Wolf Killing Survives

On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that environmental groups have standing to challenge the federal government’s killing of gray wolves in Idaho without conducting additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). Western Watersheds Project et al. v. Grimm, No. 18-35075 (9th Cir. 2019). Environmental groups brought an … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ordered to Take Fresh Look at Petition to Delist Bone Cave Harvestman

On March 28, 2019, a federal judge overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“USFWS”) rejection of a petition to delist an endangered karst invertebrate species, the Bone Cave harvestman (Texella reyeisi) (“BCH”), which is known to occur only in central Texas. American Stewards of Liberty and others (“Plaintiffs”) had claimed that USFWS’ rejection of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Auer Deference Case

On March 27, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Kisor  v. Wilkie (No. 18-15), focusing on whether Auer deference should be overruled.  While the dispute is not environmental in nature, this case has nonetheless attracted significant attention from the environmental community due to the potentially significant implications to environmental litigation.  Auer deference (or Seminole Rock deference) requires … Continue Reading

Frogs or Freedom?

Nossaman Environment & Land Use Partner Brooke Wahlberg recently participated in a panel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2019 Policy Orientation entitled “Frogs or Freedom: Are New Limitations Coming for the Endangered Species Act?”  Ms. Wahlberg’s segment addressed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and how the … Continue Reading

Gray Wolf Listing Under California Endangered Species Act Upheld in California Superior Court

On January 28, 2019, the Superior Court for San Diego County upheld the California Fish and Game Commission’s (“Commission”) 2015 decision to list the gray wolf (canis lupus) under the California Endangered Species Act (“CESA”). (Cal. Cattlemen’s Assn. v. Cal. Fish & Game Com. (Super. Ct. San Diego County, 2019, No. 37-2017-00003866-CU-MC-CTL).) CESA defines an “endangered species” … Continue Reading

Resolve to Learn More About Endangered Species and the Environment with Nossaman in 2019!

Nossaman’s Environmental Practice attorneys will be off to a great start in 2019 presenting at many key events around the U.S. focused on endangered species and environmental issues. First, on January 10th, Austin-based Environment & Land Use Partner Brooke Wahlberg will speak at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2019 Policy Orientation in Austin.  Brooke’s presentation … Continue Reading
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