House Republicans recently announced the creation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group, which will be led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Western Caucus Co-Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). The ESA Working Group will include a total of 13 republican members from a broad geographic range. It will examine the ESA from many angles through a series of events, forums, and hearings that will invite discussion and input on ways in which the ESA is working well, and where it can be updated or improved to increase its effectiveness for both people ...
On March 21, 2013, Representatives Bill Flores (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced a bill (pdf) to curtail allegedly excessive Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuits brought by environmental groups. The bill would prohibit courts from approving ESA settlements, unless states and counties that would be affected by the settlements have also given their approval. Also aimed at limiting the amount the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) can spend on ESA lawsuits, the bill would prevent litigants from ...
Yesterday, a Republican Senator from Texas, John Cornyn, introduced a bill (pdf) that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from settling environmental lawsuits without first publishing the complaint "in a readily accessible manner, including electronically," and allowing "affected parties" an opportunity to intervene. The bill further provides that the filing of any motion to dismiss or for entry of a consent decree based on a settlement agreement shall be prohibited until after affected parties have had a "reasonable opportunity" to intervene. Should a ...
As recently reported by a number of news agencies, President Obama will nominate Sally Jewell, the Chief Executive Officer of REI, to be the next Secretary of the Interior. If the nomination is approved by the Senate, she will be replacing a vacancy created by Ken Salazar, who announced in January that he will be stepping down at the end of March. It is anticipated that President Obama will make the announcement this afternoon.
On January 23, 2013, over 25 California delegates to the House of Representatives introduced a bill, H.R. 399 (pdf), addressing the federal rules requiring trees growing on levees to be removed. Specifically, the bill would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to review its policy about vegetation-removal on levees, in order to consider allowing variances on a regional or watershed basis.
The Corps established a national vegetation removal policy in the wake of the failure of levees during Hurricane Katrina. According to Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), the [C]orps ...
As previously blogged about here, on December 9, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (PDF) in the Federal Register that will, if adopted, change the Services' standards for listing and delisting species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by re-interpreting the definitions of "threatened" and "endangered" species in the ESA.
In a letter to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (PDF) dated January 26, 2012, Congressman Markey, the ranking ...
President Obama announced a government consolidation plan that would involve transferring parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA"), which is currently part of the Department of Commerce, to the Department of the Interior. NOAA oversees marine wildlife, including endangered marine species. The Fish and Wildlife Service, which is an agency within Interior, oversees freshwater species and land-dwelling wildlife. In his remarks regarding the proposed consolidation, President Obama, suggested that having the two agencies that conduct oversight ...
In response to a letter from two local congressmen (PDF), Republicans from the Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee have scheduled an oversight hearing to examine the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s recent designation of critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker (Catostomus santaanae). As reported on this blog, the Service published a final rule (Dec. 14, 2010) designating critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker, a small fish species occurring in southern California. The Final Rule designates nearly 10,000 acres in the Santa Ana and San Gabriel rivers and Big Tujunga ...
On October 13, 2011, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the nexus of science and policy related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to a press release issued by the House, the purpose of the hearing was to "highlight how science is used in policy decisions that are made under [the ESA]." The witnesses at the hearing were:
- Mr. Gary Frazer, Assistant Director, Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- The Honorable Craig Manson, General ...
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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