Earlier this week, the Fish & Wildlife Service officially withdrew its 2012 proposal to delist the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle. That proposal was the direct result of a petition and two lawsuits filed by PLF attorneys on behalf of a coalition of property owners, levee districts, and farming organizations who strongly object to the significant land-use restrictions imposed on account of the beetle’s listing under the Endangered Species Act.
In the withdrawal decision, the Service contends that information submitted since the 2012 delisting proposal demonstrates that the proposal had overestimated the beetle’s population and range, and consequently underestimated the impacts of threats such as habitat loss and predation by the Argentine ant.
The Service has stated, however, that it wants to work cooperatively with the regulated public to ensure that levee projects and other productive activity can go forward. Let’s hope that the Service lives up to that promise.