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FWS Withdraws Listing Proposal for Southern California Plant in Favor of Voluntary Conservation

On March 16, 2018, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced the withdrawal of its 2016 proposed rule to list San Fernando Valley spineflower (Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina), a southern California plant species, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The spineflower’s conservation has been one component of the long-standing conflict … Continue Reading

National Marine Fisheries Service Finds Listing the Klamath and Trinity River Chinook Salmon as Threatened or Endangered May Be Warranted

On February 27, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Service”) published a 90-day finding on the Karuk Tribe and Salmon River Restoration Council’s (“Petitioners”) petition to list the Upper Klamath-Trinity Rivers Basin (“UKTR”) Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawtscha) evolutionarily significant unit (“ESU”) as endangered or threatened.  Based on the information included in Petitioners’ filing, the Service … Continue Reading

FWS De-lists One California Desert Plant, Down-lists Another

On February 27, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalized a regulation removing Eureka Valley evening-primrose (Oenothera californica ssp. eurekensis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.  The delisting, originally proposed in 2014, is based on the elimination of threats to the subspecies, accomplished largely as a result of the 1994 … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Listing of Arctic Ringed Seal Is Not Arbitrary and Capricious Despite Lack of Existing Quantitative Data

On February 12, 2018, in Alaska Oil & Gas Association v. National Marine Fisheries Service, Case No. 16-35380, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a 2016 decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska that vacated a final regulation listing the Arctic subspecies of ringed seal (Phoca hispida hispida, Phoca … Continue Reading

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Recommends Listing of Tricolored Blackbird

At its February 2018 meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”) received the one-year status review report on a petition to list tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) as a threatened or endangered species from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”).  In the status report the Department recommends listing the species as threatened under the … Continue Reading

NMFS Extends Comment Period on Western DPS of Steller Sea Lion

On February 6, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced an extension of the public comment period for the 5-year review of the endangered Western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Steller sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus).  The Western DPS includes Steller sea lions that reside in the central and western Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, as well … Continue Reading

NMFS Lists Oceanic Whitetip Shark as Threatened Species

On January 30, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule listing the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharinus lonigmanus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This final listing rule is the culmination of NMFS’ analysis following the 2015 petition filed by Defenders of Wildlife seeking to either list the … Continue Reading

End of the Year Endangered Species Round-Up

As 2018 approaches, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) made a few announcements that will likely impact the list of threatened and endangered species.  In these last 11 days of 2017, the Service announced 90-day findings on petitions to list or reclassify five species, and 12-month findings on petitions to list or de-list two … Continue Reading

Administration Announces Comprehensive Revisions to Endangered Species Act Implementing Regulations

In the Fall 2017 publication of the Unified Agenda of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Department of the Interior announced its intent to revise the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regulations governing interagency cooperation and exceptions to the conservation of endangered and threatened species of fish, wildlife, and plants. In a separate announcement in … Continue Reading
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