• Posts by Paul S. Weiland
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    Paul Weiland is chair of Nossaman’s Environment & Land Use Group. He focuses his practice on litigation, permitting, and compliance counseling. Paul’s clients include public agencies, publicly regulated utilities, private ...

The Transportation Research Bureau ("TRB"), a division of the National Research Council within the National Academies, has released a report entitled Innovative Airport Responses to Threatened and Endangered Species (pdf).  The report is intended to assist airport sponsors and operators in addressing federally listed species issues on or near their facilities.  The introduction to the report includes the following summary of its contents:

"ACRP Report 122 first introduces relevant regulations and then provides a discussion of potential areas of conflict between ...

Posted in Court Decisions

As numerous news outlets reported, see L.A. Times and S.F. Chronicle, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision reversing a lower court and affirming a biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternative issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service with respect to the continuing operation of the Central Valley Project by the Bureau of Reclamation and the State Water Project by the California Department of Water Resources.  The Projects provide water to more than 20 million Californians.

The panel's decision relies heavily on a prior ...

Posted in Court Decisions

A federal district court in Arkansas recently issued a decision clarifying that the obligation to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) extends to the Small Business Administration and the Farm Service Agency when they provide loan guarantees to farmers.  The case, Buffalo River Watershed Alliance v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Case No. 13-450 (E.D. Ark. Dec. 2, 2014), involves a concentrated animal feeding operation in Arkansas that obtained loan guarantees from the Small Business Administration and the Farm Service Agency.  The Farm Service Agency ...

Posted in Listing

Today, in response to a petition to list (pdf) filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) extended protection to the tricolored blackbird (agelaius tricolor) on an emergency basis under the California Endangered Species Act.  The Commission previously -- in 2005 -- denied a petition from CBD to list the species.

While the tricolored blackbird is endemic to California, it is distributed through much of the State.  Census data on the species has been collected periodically over the past 20 years.  The ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On November 17, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Glenn Colusa Irrigation District and others seeking to overturn a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (en banc) holding that the Bureau of Reclamation’s decision to renew water contracts with senior water rights holders is subject to consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act.  Our prior post regarding the petition is available here.

E&E reporter Jeremy Jacobs wrote in Greenwire today that the Supreme Court "left in place an ...

Posted in Litigation

As we reported here, on October 6, 2014, a number of public water agencies and other entities that represent agricultural and municipal water users in California filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.  The petition was filed after a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming a biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to continuing operations of the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The panel held that the biological opinion and ...

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Posted in Litigation

Recently, two separate petitions were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell, a case involving a challenge to the biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternative issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding continuing operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California. The two projects provide water to over 20 million Californians.

One petition (pdf) was filed on behalf of Stewart & Jasper Orchards, Arroyo Farms, and King Pistachio ...

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The Endangered Species Committee within the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources recently released its periodic Endangered Species Committee Newsletter (pdf).  The newsletter includes articles regarding efforts to address climate change impacts on listed species through assessment of impacts of carbon dioxide versus mercury emissions, the implications of comprehensive listing deadline settlements, the expanding reach of the ESA, and the intersection between mountaintop mining and the ESA.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California recently signed an order on a stipulation (pdf) in Murphy v. United States Forest Service that bars the Forest Service from proceeding with implementation of the Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project in 2014 (Project), and requires the Forest Service to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the effects of the Project on the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae) before proceeding further with the Project.

The Forest Service approved the Upper Echo ...

Posted in Conservation

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released its final recovery plan for Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead.  The website for the recovery plan is here.  Along with the recovery plan, NMFS released a number of supporting documents on the website.  Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead are listed as threatened under the ESA.

At the same time that ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In The Aransas Project v. Shaw, the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court’s finding that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality violated section 9 of the Endangered Species Act through its combined actions and inactions with respect to management of water diversions in the San Antonio and Guadalupe River systems. We reported on the lower court decision here. Provided the decision stands, it suggests that the standard for liability under section 9 is not a strict liability standard, but instead requires courts to assess whether take was reasonably foreseeable drawing on common law tort principles.

Posted in Listing

In a split decision and contrary to the recommendation of the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department), the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to list the gray wolf (Canis lupis) as endangered. The decision was lauded by representatives of environmental groups but opposed by representatives of farming and ranching interests. It affirms the willingness of the Commission, made up of political appointees, to overrule scientific staff when making critical decisions at the juncture of science and policy.

As we reported here, four environmental groups ...

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Tags: Listing
Posted in Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule (pdf) in the Federal Register listing the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana Sierrae) and the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) as endangered, and the Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus Canorus) as threatened.  The agency proposed listing the species on April 25, 2013, following a decade of litigation intiiated by the Center for Biological Diversity, as describe in the proposed rule.

 

Recent research based on mitochondrial DNA, morphological ...

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Tags: Listing

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action may affect a listed species or designated critical habitat of such species applies to the decision of the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) to renew long-term contracts to provide water to non-Federal parties. The decision, which reversed prior decisions by a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel and federal district court, effectively requires the Bureau to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regarding the effects of contract renewals on the threatened delta smelt and to renegotiate the contracts following such consultation.

The decision has potentially far-reaching implications in California because it suggests that even those who hold long-term contracts with the United States for the provision of water or senior water rights under state law must comply with the Endangered Species Act.

Posted in Conservation

In an article forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Dennis Murphy and I examine a proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to amend the existing regulations that implement the interagency consultation process set out in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by codifying their pre-existing practice of using surrogates to express the amount or extent of incidental take of listed species.  We describe the proposed rule, place the use of surrogates for conservation planning in historical context, and ...

Posted in Conservation

In an article (pdf) forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dennis Murphy and I explore the potential for adaptive management through structured decision-making to improve efforts to conserve imperiled species.  We note the many impediments to effective management, which include frequent default to best professional judgment.  We then explore the potential for adaptive management to overcome these impediments if it is implemented as a step-wise, structured approach incorporating scientific information into decision-making.  We go on to identify  ...

Posted in Legislation

On September 20, 2013, H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (pdf), was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 244-173. Shortly thereafter, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Notably, H.R. 1526 includes provisions that, for certain projects authorized under the bill, would alter the way interagency consultation is conducted under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and would foreclose parties from seeking relief in federal court prior to obtaining a final, unappealable decision on the merits.

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash,) and has 22 co-sponsors. Its principal stated purpose is to restore employment and educational opportunities in, and improve the economic stability of, counties containing National Forest System land, while also reducing Forest Service management costs, by ensuring that such counties have a dependable source of revenue from National Forest System land. Section 103(a) of the bill calls for the Secretary of Agriculture to designate Forest Reserve Revenue Areas for each unit in the National Forest System. Section 104(a) authorizes and encourages the Secretary to commence covered forest reserve projects in Forest Reserve Revenue Areas.

On September 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the Services) issued a proposal rule to amend the regulations governing consultation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would codify the practice of using surrogates to express the amount of extent of anticipated take in an incidental take statement issued concomitant with a biological opinion. The Services indicate that these changes are proposed to improve the flexibility and clarify the development of incidental take statements.

Section ...

Posted in Consultation

On June 11, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a guidance memo (pdf) regarding its obligations under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The memo focuses on the Corps’ consultation obligations under section 7(a)(2).  Notably, the Corps makes no reference to the Corps’ obligation under section 7(a)(1) to utilize [its] authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this Act by carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered species and threatened species listed pursuant to section 4 of this Act.

Section 7(a)(2) requires a federal action agency such as the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On July 1, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order (pdf) granting, in part, Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys fees in Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco, N.D. Cal. Case No. C 11-958. In the order, the court awarded plaintiffs just 25 percent of the fees requested. The court had previously dismissed the case as moot, which we reported here.

Plaintiffs initiated the lawsuit in an effort to require the City to obtain an incidental take permit under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the operation of ...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) designated 2,485 acres in Kern County and Kings County in California as critical habitat for the Buena Vista Lake shrew (Sorex ornatus relictus).  The Buena Vista Lake shrew is a small, insect-eating mammal native to the southern San Joaquin Valley.

In 2005, the Service issued a final rule designating just 84 acres as critical habitat.  That rule was challenged, and the Service settled the lawsuit and initiated a new rulemaking.  Pursuant to that rulemaking process, in 2012 the Service issued a proposed rule designating 5,182 acres as ...

Posted in Legislation

The State of Idaho enacted a law (pdf) this spring asserting that the State has primacy over the management of fish and wildlife. The law was introduced as Senate Bill 1061 and signed into law by Governor Butch Otter on March 22, 2013. In addition, the law states that introduction or reintroduction of any federally listed species onto lands within the state or into state waters, including those actions that would impair or impede the state's primacy over its land and water, without state consultation and approval is against the policy of the state of Idaho. The law plainly is intended to ...

The southwestern United States faces a host of challenges as a result of climate change including strained water resources, greater prevalence of tree-killing pests, and potentially significant alterations of agricultural infrastructure. A hotter future is projected for the Southwest—a region stretching from the California coast to the plains of eastern Colorado and New Mexico—and future heat and changes in precipitation will present challenges for managing natural resources, water, infrastructure, and threats to human health. Climate change is already ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On April 9, 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled (pdf) on a motion (pdf) by the United States and the State of California to extend the period of time to issue new biological opinions regarding the effects of continued operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project on a number of fish species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The U.S. and California sought a three year extension of the time to issue biological opinions that were previously held to be unlawful.  The court granted a ...

Posted in Litigation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed (pdf) an injunction issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas requiring the State to prepare a habitat conservation plan for the purpose of obtaining an incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  We reported on the lower court decision that State officials in Texas violated the ESA's prohibition on take of the federally listed whooping crane (Grus americana), here.  At the same time that the court stayed the injunction pending the outcome ...

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On March 14, 2013, the State of California announced (pdf) that it has released the first 4 of 12 chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  California plans to release the next three chapters on March 27, and the remaining five chapters on April 22.  The BDCP website notes that the materials being released are preliminary and subject to change, and do not take the place of the public review draft, which will be released at a later date.  Preliminary draft versions of the BDCP have been released on several occasions; for example, a complete draft was released in February ...

Posted in Court Decisions

After an unusual eight day bench trial, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held (pdf) State officials in Texas violated the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) prohibition on take of the federally listed whooping crane (Grus americana).  In holding for plaintiff The Aransas Project, the court found that defendants’ actions, inactions, and refusal to act proximately caused unlawful take of at least 23 whooping cranes during the winter of 2008-09.  The court enjoined the State from granting new water permits affecting the Guadalupe or San Antonio Rivers and required the State to prepare a habitat conservation plan for the purpose of obtaining an incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA.

In a unanimous panel decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held (pdf) that a biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of three pesticides on certain salmonids was not the product of reasoned decision-making.  The Fourth Circuit refused to silently rubber stamp an agency decision where NMFS failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for key aspects of that decision.  Further, the court refused to allow NMFS to offer post hoc rationalizations for its decision in the form of an expert affidavit and ...

Posted in Delisting

In Central Coast Forest Assoc. v. California Fish and Game Commission (pdf), the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District held that a petition to delist the endangered coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), fails at the outset because a petition to delist a species may not be employed to challenge a final determination of the Commission.  The 2-1 decision is one of a small number of reported cases to interpret the listing provisions of the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  The decision has important state-wide ...

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Tags: Delisting
Posted in Court Decisions

On December 26, 2012, in Strahan v. Roughead (pdf), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied a motion brought by federal defendants to dismiss as moot plaintiffs’ claims that the Navy is operating vessels in a manner that takes listed whales in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and failing to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the impacts of such operations in violation of section 7 of the ESA. The pro se plaintiff is alleging that the Navy, through the operation of its vessels and its military ...

Posted in Conservation

This week endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com crossed the 100,000 hits threshold.  We thank you, our readers, for your interest in the blog.  We will continue to work to provide timely and informative updates regarding legal and policy developments related to the management and conservation of threatened and endangered species.

In an order issued on December 6, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought by Wild Equity and other plaintiffs alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act’s take prohibition by the City and County of San Francisco.  The decision, in Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco, N.D. Cal. Case No. C 11-958, closes a chapter in the longstanding effort of local environmental groups to shut down the historic Sharp Park golf course, which is located along the Pacific Ocean in the City of Pacifica and owned ...

Posted in Conservation

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released a public draft recovery plan for the distinct population segment (DPS) of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that occupies California's South-Central Coast.  NMFS announced the availability of the draft recovery plan and issued a request for comments in the Federal Register (pdf).  Steelhead are anadromous fish that spawn in coastal watersheds, rear in freshwater or estuarine habitats, and migrate to the ocean for the balance of their lives.  The South-Central Coast DPS extends from south of San Luis Obispo in the south to ...

Posted in Legislation

Recently, House Representatives John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton, CA), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, CA), George Miller (D-Martinez, CA), and Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, CA) introduced H.R. 6484 (pdf), a bill entitled the SAFE Levee Act. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide assistance to local interests for levee stability improvements within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and require the Secretary of the Interior to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of water conveyance options being considered in the Bay Delta ...

Posted in Legislation

Governor Brown signed a bill into law that generally makes it unlawful to permit or allow a dog to pursue a bear or bobcat at any time. The bill, introduced as SB 1221 by State Senator Ted Lieu, is intended to curb the use of dogs to hunt bears or bobcats.  Debate over the bill divided both houses of the California legislature.  David Siders reported that "[t]he legislation pitted wildlife advocates against hunters at the California Capitol – the former raising concerns about the humane treatment of animals, the latter about urban elitism" (Sacramento Bee, Sept. 27, 2012).

The bill to ban ...

Posted in Court Decisions

 In a 2-1 decision (pdf), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently upheld the decision of the Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the West Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus). The lower court held that the Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by removing the species from the list of endangered and threatened species despite the fact that several Recovery Plan Criteria had not been satisfied. In its decision, the D.C. Circuit held that [a] plan is a statement of intention, not a contract, and that [i]f the plan ...

Posted in Delisting

We previously reported the Fish and Wildlife Service's intention to delist the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the State of Wyoming.  Today the Service announced "that the Wyoming population of gray wolves is recovered and no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act."  A host of news outlets reported the announcement, including the New York Times (Aug. 31, 2012, by Feilicity Barringer).  Delisting of the gray wolf is controversial, but the species has been delisted in numerous parts of the upper mid-west and western United States.

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Tags: Delisting
Posted in Court Decisions

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has granted (pdf) a motion by appellees to dismiss an appeal pursued by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other organizations from an interim order enjoining one component of a reasonable and prudent alternative imposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service on operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.  The order, which we reported on here, enjoined implementation of a water management action, referred to as the Fall X2 Action, which requires a combination of reservoir releases upstream from the ...

Posted in Delisting

The  Associated Press is reporting that the federal government intends to issue a final rule delisting the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming on August 31, 2012 (The Missoulian, Aug 14, 2012, by Ben Neary).  The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed (pdf) removal of the gray wolf in Wyoming from the list of endangered and threatened species on October 5, 2011, and reopened the comment period (pdf) on that proposal on May 1, 2012.

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Tags: Delisting
Posted in Court Decisions

In a recent decision (pdf), the United States District Court for the District of Idaho remanded a determination (pdf) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list slickspot peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum), a small, flowering plant in the mustard family, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The controversy  over the listing of the species has spanned more than a decade, resulting in numerous Service determinations and court orders.

Slickspot peppergrass is only found in portions of Idaho.  Idaho's Governor, Butch Otter, and others brought the case challenging the ...

Today Governor Brown and Secretary of the Interior Salazar announced plans to construct two tunnels to transport water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in an effort to guarantee a stable water supply for Californians and contribute to the protection and recovery of the Delta ecosystem and at-risk species.  In a press release that accompanied the announcement, the federal and state officials stated "the parties expect to issue a draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and corresponding Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for public review this fall."

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2-1 decision (pdf) affirming a lower court holding that plaintiff environmental groups lacked standing to challenge the renewal of certain water contracts by the Bureau of Reclamation and that other contract renewals by the Bureau were not subject to consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act because the renewals constituted non-discretionary actions outside the scope of the consultation requirement.

At issue in the case was the renewal of water contracts between the Bureau and two sets of ...

Posted in Conservation

In an article published in July 2012, in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Christian Langpap and Joe Kerkvliet of Oregon State University assess the effectiveness of habitat conservation plans.  The abstract reads:

Habitat conservation plans (HCPs) have become a key instrument for implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on private land. However, there is no systematic analysis of their effectiveness in promoting endangered species recovery. This paper is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of HCPs on species recovery ...

Posted in Conservation

According to Ryan McCarthy with KeysNet (June 27, 2012), the County Commission in Monroe County, Florida has agreed to take responsibility for reviewing permits for new development within the county to ascertain whether such development is likely to affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The County took this action to avoid suspension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) there by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Monroe County was the locus of the first lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA ...

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a daunting conservation planning exercise.  The affected ecosystems have been irreversibly altered; a number of the covered species are at risk of extinction over the next century; despite the investment of billions of dollars, the monitoring scheme in place is inadequate to provide scientists with data necessary to generate robust analyses needed to make informed resource management decisions; and the entire exercise is a political hot potato.

The State committed to release a public draft of the BDCP in June 2012, but in a letter to the ...

Posted in Listing

The Fish and Wildlife Service made a decision (pdf) recently not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  The distribution of the small, light brown lizard is limited to western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The status of the species has been uncertain for a number of years; in 2004 the Service determined that listing the species was warranted but precluded by higher priority actions and in 2010 the Service proposed to list the species as endangered.  The potential listing of the species drew strong ...

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Posted in Court Decisions

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision (pdf) denying the motion of plaintiff environmental groups for a preliminary injunction to halt lethal removal of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from the Columbia River to reduce predation pressure on salmonids as they migrate past the Bonneville Dam.  The decision is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute over efforts to protect salmon runs in the Columbia River system.

The States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho applied for and obtained authorization from the National ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In Conservation Congress v. Finley, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61634 (May 2, 2012), plaintiffs challenge agency decisions that authorize the Beaverslide Timber Sale and Fuel Treatment Project located in the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California on the grounds the project violates the Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act, and National Forest Management Act.  Among other things, plaintiffs allege that the Forest Service unlawfully failed to reinitiate consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service under section 7(a)(2) of the ESA ...

Large-scale habitat conservation plans often are under development for many years then mired in the regulatory process for many more.  The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is not exceptional because it has hit a number of bumps in the road.  But it is exceptional because the plan development and regulatory processes are transparent and being scrutinized by a multitude of interests at every step, including some that will challenge the BDCP in court irrespective of the merits of the Plan for both society and the at-risk species it is designed to protect.  For the past several months, the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order (pdf) denying cross motions for summary judgment in a case brought by plaintiffs suing the City and County of San Francisco over the management of Sharp Park Golf Course, which San Francisco owns but which is located in the City of Pacifica in San Mateo County, California.  At issue in the case is whether San Francisco’s management of the golf course violates the take prohibition of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Previously, we posted a blog describing plaintiffs' unsuccessful attempt to ...

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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