Archives: Fish & Wildlife Service

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Endangered Species Case Sparks Chevron Deference Debate

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for its upcoming October 2018 term, one petition concerning an endangered sea otter relocation program is attracting a lot of attention as a potential vehicle for the Court to consider the broader issue of Chevron deference, the legal doctrine that requires courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation … 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. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Initiation of 5-Year Status Review for 50 Species

On Monday, June 18, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) announced that it has initiated five year status reviews for fifty species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  Included among the species whose ESA listing status is being reviewed are 19 animal species, … 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

Texas Cactus Officially Downlisted to Threatened

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) finalized its reclassification of the Tobusch fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus ssp. tobuschii), a small cactus found in Texas, downlisting the species from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As previously reported here, the Service concluded that downlisting the cactus was warranted given an increase … Continue Reading

USFWS Guidance Clarifies Trigger for ESA Incidental Take Permits Tied to Habitat Modification

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan recently issued a guidance memorandum to USFWS’ Regional Directors to clarify the appropriate trigger for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  While this guidance was directed internally to USFWS staff to aid in determination of whether project-related habitat modification … Continue Reading

Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Stays Put on List of Threatened Species

On April 17, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) reached a negative “90-day finding” on a petition to remove the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species.  The Service’s finding was in response to a petition to delist the mouse filed by the Pacific Legal … Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Yellow Lance Mussel as Threatened

On April 3, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final to rule listing the yellow lance mussel (Elliptio lanceolata) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The final rule states that only seven populations of this freshwater mussel remain, all of which are located in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.  … Continue Reading
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