New lawsuit challenging Endangered Species Act overreach

October 05, 2017 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

This morning, we filed a complaint in federal district court in D.C. challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2016 “biological opinion” governing FEMA’s implementation of the national flood insurance program in Oregon. Representing the City of Coos Bay, Oregon, we argue in the lawsuit that the biological opinion&# ...


Amicus support for PLF's Delta smelt cert petition

November 20, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

PLF’s cert petition in Stewart & Jasper Orchards v. Jewell, which seeks review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the Delta-smelt-inspired water cutbacks to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, has received significant amicus curiae support.  Our thanks to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the California Farm B ...


The fight for more water continues

May 15, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Earlier this week, several parties in the Consolidated Smelt Cases (the Department of Water Resources, the State Water Contractors, and the Federal Water Contractors) filed petitions for rehearing before the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  (The court has already asked for a response from the federal agencies and their environmental group def ...


Status quo for now in the Delta smelt case

March 25, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Earlier this week, the district court in the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases issued an order rejecting the request of the federal government and the environmental intervenors immediately to stop the ongoing remand ordered by Judge Wanger in 2011.  The court explained that, until the Ninth Circuit (which earlier this month overturned Judge Wanger� ...


Delta smelt appeal decided

March 13, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

This morning, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a fractured panel decision, largely upheld the 2008 Delta smelt biological opinion.  The panel decision holds that Judge Wanger erred in letting in extra-record evidence to decide the case, and also erred in finding fault with how the opinion estimated the impacts of the Central Valley … ...


Army Corps issues new ESA guidance

July 08, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

One of the most important provisions of the Endangered Species Act is Section 7, which requires, inter alia, that federal agencies ensure that their discretionary actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species, or adversely modify its critical habitat.  The provision also requires federal agencies to consult with the Natio ...


Pesticide manufacturers win big against Fisheries Service

February 28, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a biological opinion of the National Marine Fisheries Service that would have significantly limited the use of various pesticides in the Pacific Northwest.  In Dow AgroSciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Service, the plaintiff manufacturers challenged the Service’s biological op ...


A "bear" of a decision for water users

November 15, 2012 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last month, Judge Selna of the Central District of California rejected, in Bear Valley Mutual Water Co. v. Salazar, a challenge to the critical habitat designation of the Santa Ana Sucker, a “threatened” fish protected under the Endangered Species Act.  The plaintiffs, a collection of local governments, water districts, and flood contr ...


Breaking : Delta smelt appeals dismissed

August 23, 2012 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Just minutes ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a terse decision dismissing the  environmentalists’ appeals from Judge Oliver Wanger’s injunction limiting enforcement of the Delta smelt biological opinion’s water cutbacks.  The decision does not affect the many other pending appeals from the case that will be heard i ...