Otay Mesa Property, L.P. v. Department of the Interior Documents 12-31-13

AC Brief (2)


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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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Government’s crazy game of whack a mole

Good intentions Horrible execution Disastrous results That pretty much sums up the federal government’s mismanagement of water supplies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to help Delta smelt and salmon species Water diverted to help declining populations of fish listed under the Endangered Species Act has created severe collateral damage to the environment in the San Joaquin Valley

Species like the California condor, the San Joaquin kit fox and the California tiger salamander, which benefit from irrigated farmland, and the thousands of miles of valuable habitat lining canals and irrigation ditches, have joined farmers, farm workers and other valley residents as victims of the Bureau of Reclamation’s war on the environment

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Whither have you gone, dear fairy shrimp?

Author:  Damien M Schiff

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in Otay Mesa Properties v United States Fish & Wildlife Service that the Service's designation of the plaintiff's San Diego border property as occupied critical habitat for the San Diego fairy shrimp was arbitrary and capricious  The court ruled that the only evidence supporting the designation—one observation in 2001 in a tire rut—was not "substantial evidence" to support the necessary statutory finding that the property was occupied by the shrimp in 1997 (the date of the shrimp's listing)  Here's a snippet from the court's analysis:

The Fish and Wildlife Service also contends that the evidence here

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Wherefore art thou, o fairy shrimp?

Author:  Damien M Schiff

Last week, Pacific Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the appellants in Otay Mesa Property LP v United States Department of Interior, in which the plaintiff property owners challenged, under the Endangered Species Act, the Service’s inclusion of their property within the critical habitat designation for the San Diego fairy shrimp  PLF’s brief argues that the trial court erred by granting Chevron deference to the Service’s legal interpretations contained within the critical habitat designation  Chevron deference is a principle derived from the Supreme Court’s decision in Chevron USA, Inc v Natural Resources

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