On February 6, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sided with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and plaintiffs Institute for Fisheries Resources, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, and the Yurok Tribe, in holding that an order governing Reclamation’s operation of Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) from the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is preempted by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The order, issued in the midst of a recent drought to meet the needs of irrigators, mandated Reclamation to “immediately preclude or ...
On November 17, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) voted unanimously to issue an Order Modifying and Approving Surrender License and Removal of Project Facilities (“Order”) for the Lower Klamath Project (“Project”). The Order allows the dams’ private operator to surrender its operating license and was one of the final hurdles for the largest dam removal project in United States history. The $450 million project involves the removal of four dams along the Klamath River near the border of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
A noteworthy ...
This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a proposed rule to list the sand dune phacelia (Phacelia argentea) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), along with a proposed section 4(d) rule that would prohibit several activities with respect to the species. The proposed rule also includes a designation of approximately 252 acres of critical habitat in Del Norte County in California, and Coos and Curry Counties in Oregon.
The sand dune phacelia is an evergreen, herbaceous, flowering perennial in the forget-me-not family of plants. It blooms from ...
On October 25, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (Martes caurina), also known as coastal marten, under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the proposed rule, the Service identifies a total of approximately 1,413,305 acres of land in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon to designate as critical habitat for the coastal marten.
Listed as a threatened species in October 2020, the coastal marten is a medium-sized carnivore in the ...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently listed the Franklin’s bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Historical records indicate that the species is endemic to southwest Oregon and northern California. The last known record of the species dates back to 2006. The Service’s decision is the culmination of a listing process that began 11 years ago with the submission of a petition to list by the Xerces Society in 2010.
In its press release announcing the decision, the Service both noted that Franklin’s bumble bee has the smallest known ...
On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) posted a final rule removing the Foskett speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.) from the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The dace, which was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a threatened species in 1985, is being removed from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species on the basis of recovery. In its final notice, the Service indicates that the threats to the dace have been “eliminated or reduced to the point where [the dace] no longer meets the definition of an endangered or ...
On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule to delist the Borax Lake chub (Gila boraxobius), a small fish that currently resides primarily in a single Oregon lake. Currently listed as an endangered species, the proposed rule states that the best available scientific and commercial information "indicates that the threats to the Borax Lake chub have been eliminated or reduced to the point where the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act . . . ." The Federal Register notice ...
Last week, Washington State Representative Dan Newhouse introduced the Pacific Northwest Gray Wolf Management Act (H.R. 1985), which would remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) within Washington, Oregon, and Utah. H.R. 1985 is the third bill introduced in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) proposing to delist the gray wolf within specified states. H.R. 843 and H.R. 884, introduced in February, would effectively delist gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and in the Western Great Lakes region and ...
As we previously reported, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has proposed to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) and the Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and to designate millions of acres of land as critical habitat for the species. (See our prior posts on January 23, 2013 and October 29, 2013.) Because of the controversy surrounding the proposed listings and designations, the Service has extended the comment period on the proposals to ensure that the public has ...
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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