Nossaman represents a wide array of government and private entities engaged in resource use and conservation activities both within California and across the nation. Our attorneys offer effective counseling, compliance, and litigation services to clients.
Nossaman has been involved in negotiations and litigation regarding listing and critical habitat decisions under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For example , Nossaman has successfully negotiated for the exclusion of certain lands from critical habitat that are subject to other adequate protections. In addition, Nossaman is one of the few law firms in the nation to successfully challenge a species listing under the ESA and to obtain a court order, requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pay our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs. The Firm also successfully challenged the designation of critical habitat for numerous species in a number of different lawsuits filed over the past 20 years.
The Firm routinely works with clients to navigate the ESA’s section 7 consultation process. Nossaman attorneys have represented public and private clients on projects ranging from small-scale residential developments to billion dollar public works projects. In addition, when necessary, the firm has represented parties both challenging and defending biological opinions issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. For example, Nossaman is currently representing the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and Kern County Water Agency in challenges to two biological opinions associated with the continued operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California.
Nossaman pioneered the ESA’s Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) concept and has more experience with HCPs and California Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs) than any law firm in the nation. Leading attorneys at Nossaman authored and advocated for the HCP provisions of the ESA, assisted clients in developing over a dozen, significant HCPs, and counseled clients regarding the effects of HCPs on their lands and activities.
Finally, the Firm has counseled clients regarding compliance with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and other species and ecosystem protection laws in California. Nossaman has also litigated CESA cases on behalf of clients. For more information, please contact any of our team members.