M. Reed Hopper

Senior Attorney

Washington

Reed Hopper is a Senior Attorney in PLF’s Environmental Law Practice Group. He oversees the Foundation’s Endangered Species Act Program that is designed to ensure that species protections are balanced with individual rights, the rule of law, and other social values. Reed also oversees PLF’s Clean Water Act Project that targets illegal federal regulation of local land and water use.

Reed has always had a strong patriotic spirit and a desire to serve his country. Before joining PLF in 1987, Reed served as an Environmental Protection Officer and Hearing Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard where he gained a love for the law. He also loves our constitutional way of life and cannot tolerate injustice. PLF affords him the opportunity to rectify unjust actions perpetrated by overreaching government. He enjoys getting up each morning to fight for a just cause.

Reed has litigated and won precedent-setting environmental and land use cases at all levels of the state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has published numerous articles and testified before Congress as an expert witness.

Reed graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Bachelors Degree in German and major work in biochemistry. He also did graduate business studies at California State University and Tulane University and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Reed Hopper is a Senior Attorney in PLF’s Environmental Law Practice Group. He oversees the Foundation’s Endangered Species Act Program that is designed to ensure that species protections are balanced with individual rights, the rule of law, and other social values. Reed also oversees PLF’s Clean Water Act Project that targets illegal federal regulation of local land and water use.

Reed has always had a strong patriotic spirit and a desire to serve his country. Before joining PLF in 1987, Reed served as an Environmental Protection Officer and Hearing Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard where he gained a love for the law. He also loves our constitutional way of life and cannot tolerate injustice. PLF affords him the opportunity to rectify unjust actions perpetrated by overreaching government. He enjoys getting up each morning to fight for a just cause.

Reed has litigated and won precedent-setting environmental and land use cases at all levels of the state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has published numerous articles and testified before Congress as an expert witness.

Reed graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Bachelors Degree in German and major work in biochemistry. He also did graduate business studies at California State University and Tulane University and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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Property Rights

Waters of the United States

PLF at the Supreme Court: Fighting EPA power grab of all U.S. waters

It’s now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if the EPA can stretch federal control to nearly every pond, ditch, and puddle in the nation. On October 11, justices heard arguments in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, a consolidated case which included an extensive array of our clients. We challenged the EPA’s 2015 proposed rule as being nothing more than an outrageous – and illegal – power grab under cover of the Clean Water Act.

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Property Rights

Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Common sense endangered by “critical habitat” designation of uninhabitable land

The federally-protected dusky gopher frog lives exclusively in a small area of Mississippi, in designated critical habitat. However, the government designated over 1500 acres of privately-owned land in Louisiana as “critical habitat,” even while acknowledging that the frog does not, and cannot, live there.

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Property Rights

Duarte Nursery v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Wheat farmer vs. the federal government: will the Constitution prevail?

John Duarte and Duarte Nursery, in rural Tehama County, California, received a cease and desist order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for engaging in normal farming activities (i.e., plowing) that purportedly affected wetlands. Duarte was not permitted any type of hearing to defend himself.

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By M. Reed Hopper

Why Fish and Wildlife is wrong on critical habitat

Recently, the Sacramento Bee ran an op-ed entitled “Why Fish and Wildlife is right on endangered frogs” that criticized a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of California farmers and ranchers. The op-ed misrepresents the lawsuit and perpetuates a misconception about the Endangered Species Act.

PLF’s lawsuit does not question whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was right to list three California amphibians as protected species under the ESA. Nor does it question whether the Service was right to designate critical habitat to conserve the species. Under the law, the Service is required to make these determinations.

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By M. Reed Hopper

Designating non-habitat as "critical habitat?" Where does it stop?

In 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Gunnison sage-grouse as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act and designated over 14 million acres as “critical habitat” in Colorado and Utah For years, the affected states, counties, and landowners have partnered to conserve the species while maintaining economic viability Over 90% of sage-grouse habitat in the State of Utah is found on private land Local landowners have provided 28,000 acres of their land for conservation management After the expenditure of over $18 million, these cooperative efforts have increased the primary bird population by 30% and exceeded the government-established recovery goal In combination with habitat areas that are

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By M. Reed Hopper

PLF sues U.S Fish and Wildlife to protect small businesses

There appears to be a universal recognition that small business is the lifeblood of our economy and a necessary component of our way of life:

Economic freedom is the foundation for individual success and prosperity This freedom is evident in the entrepreneurial small business sector, which creates most of the new jobs and a large share of the innovations in the American economy When government takes small businesses into consideration in developing regulations, it saves time and money and supports the growth of the nation’s most productive sector

-Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy

This recognition has precipitated a number of presidential executive orders calling for regulatory reduction on small businesses and

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By M. Reed Hopper

White House WOTUS update

We reported here that the Administration had proposed withdrawing the 2015 WOTUS rule as directed by Executive Order And, that EPA would soon be issuing a new rule defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act According to a recent statement by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the EPA will issue a Notice of Proposed Rule-making in December, 2017, along the lines of Justice Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v United States A formal draft will follow and a final rule adopted, probably in 2018 Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress will have an opportunity to accept or reject the

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By M. Reed Hopper

PLF petitions "unprecedented and sweeping" Endangered Species Act case to U.S. Supreme Court

In February, 2013, PLF filed suit in federal court on behalf of Markle Interests, LLC, challenging the designation of the landowners’ property as “critical habitat” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act “Critical habitat” is defined as habitat areas “essential to the conservation of the species” But in a bewildering display of creative rule-making, all too common among federal bureaucrats, agency officials set aside more than 1500 acres of private land in St Tammany Parish, Louisiana, for the protection of the dusky gopher frog even though the land is unsuitable as habitat: It is not near areas inhabited by the species; it

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By M. Reed Hopper

The Nation's WOTUS problem!

In response to the President’s Executive Order directing the EPA to revise the controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” issued in 2015, EPA proposes to withdraw the rule, codify preexisting rules and guidance, and then issue a new WOTUS rule in keeping with Justice Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v United States PLF has a vested interest in the outcome of this rule, not only because PLF is dedicated to safeguarding property rights and fighting government overreaching that threatens individual liberties, but also because PLF argued and won the Rapanos case in 2006 That case set long-overdue limits on the scope of the Clean Water

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