In a decision issued earlier this week, a U.S. District Court rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) interpretation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), finding that its interpretation of the critical habitat designation requirement constituted an impermissible construction of the statute. Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Kelly, Case No. 1:13-cv-00427 (D. Idaho Mar. 23, 2015) (pdf). Specifically, the court found that, contrary to the Service's longstanding interpretation, the ESA requires critical habitat to be designated in a manner ...
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 ...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the availability of a revised recovery plan for the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a species that is found in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, has been described as having a "unique dinosaur-like appearance," and has been listed as endangered since 1990. As summarized by the Service, the revised recovery plan updates the "current understanding of the species life history requirements, identifies probable threats that were not originally recognized, includes revised recovery ...
Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) the availability of its recovery plan (pdf) for the threatened southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). The recovery plan describes the status of the otter, its history, and a number of actions the Service believes will allow for the delisting of the otter. With respect to the otter's declining status, the recovery plan states that "[t]he only identified threat factor that is judged to have a high importance to recovery is predation[,]" and ...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that it was opening a 30-day public comment period on updated information for the draft revised recovery plan for the threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). This announcement follows the completion of a new computerized modeling tool developed for assessing spotted owl habitat quality and population dynamics. It also predicts the effectiveness of different conservation measures.
The new modeling tool synthesizes more than 20 years of demographic data regarding the spotted owl ...
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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