October 26, 2012

PLF threatens suit over Tidewater Goby

By M. Reed Hopper Senior Attorney

In May, 2010, PLF petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to “downlist” the Tidewater Goby from “endangered” to “threatened” status.  This petition was based on the Service’s own recommendation that the goby, a small fish, should be reclassified due to improved conditions.  When the Service failed to respond, PLF threatened to sue.  As a result, the Service issued a finding in January, 2011, that the petition may be warranted. This triggered a new review of the species requiring the agency to make a final decision on reclassification within 12 months of the petition. But that time also came without agency action.  Once again, PLF threatened to sue.  Based on that threat, the Service agreed to issue a 12-month finding by September of this year.  It didn’t happen.

Instead, the Service issued a proposed rule to expand the critical habitat along the California Coast in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

Earlier this week, we filed a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue if the Service does not comply with the law.

Our petition also calls for “delisting” the Eureka Valley evening primrose and the Eureka Valley dunegrass. These plants are found in dune areas in Eureka Valley, Inyo County, and have recovered so as to no longer require the protections of the Act.

 

What to read next