Documents

Complaint (with exhibit)

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Case Attorneys

Anthony L. Francois

Senior Attorney

Tony Francois is an attorney in PLF’s Sacramento office, and has litigated cases around the country defending Americans’ property rights from land use and environmental restrictions. He is a member … ›

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Damien M. Schiff

Senior Attorney

Currently a Senior Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, Damien joined PLF in 2005.  His practice has focused on federal and state environmental and land-use issues.  Damien was counsel of record … ›

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Kaycee Royer

Attorney

Kaycee Royer graduated from the University of Idaho with an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Kaycee attended the University of Idaho’s College of Law obtaining … ›

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Case Commentary

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Op-Ed

Endangered Species Act Bureaucrats Are Playing Word Games That Cost Billions Of Dollars

The government’s environmental scientists must start behaving more like real scientists and less like politicized bureaucrats. We all need to know—we all deserve to know—what they mean by the words they use.

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By Damien M. Schiff

A petition to resolve the Endangered Species Act taxonomy debate

PLF and several allied organizations submitted a petition for rule-making to the federal agencies that administer the Endangered Species Act. The petition asks the agencies to define “species” and “subspecies,” terms which, although critical to the Act’s operation, are left undefined by statute and regulation.

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By Kaycee Royer

What constitutes a “subspecies” under the Endangered Species Act?

When the Service rejected a delisting petition for the coastal California gnatcatcher, it acknowledged that it was not going to define “subspecies,” the very term upon which the denial rests, even while acknowledging that the term enjoys no commonly accepted meaning among scientists. Thus, by not defining that key term, the Service effectively reserved to itself the right to use whatever definition of “subspecies” suits it best at any time. This arbitrary power prevents the regulated public from challenging any “subspecies” designation because the Service can always move the goal posts.

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