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Tag: delta smelt

December 02, 2016

Have federal wildlife regulators made Sophie’s Choice?

Federal wildlife regulators have a legal responsibility to consider the impact of federal actions on endangered wildlife. That is their legal argument for their program to de-water the farms and communities of California’s San Joaquin Valley, by holding that water for endangered fish in the Sacramento Delta instead. But life comes at you fas ...

October 06, 2016

The best way to protect the environment isn't always obvious

Our friend Brian Seasholes of the Reason Foundation has an article on DailyCaller.com on one of the oft overlooked environmental benefits of fracking: preserving open space as habitat for wildlife. He ends the article with a point that applies far beyond fracking and highlights one of the most important shortcomings in most environmental law. Life ...

July 14, 2016

New delta smelt lawsuit filed

Last week, a coalition of California Central Valley water districts sued the Bureau of Reclamation in the latest installment of the litigation wars over the delta smelt.*  The new lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Fresno, and coming on the heels of the Governor Brown administration’s announcement to release an additional annual 20 ...

March 15, 2016

PLF petition challenges illegal Endangered Species Act regulation

Today, PLF submitted a petition with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, challenging a regulation that illegally extends the Endangered Species Act’s burdensome take prohibition to all threatened species. The petition argues that federal bureaucrats have no authority to reverse Congress’ judgment that the stringent take prohibition sh ...

February 03, 2016

Are states better than the feds at protecting endangered species?

In honor of Groundhog Day, WildEarth Guardians released its annual report card for federal and state management of prairie dogs. Unsurprisingly, the environmental group isn’t too fond of PLF’s victory on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO). Yet it’s judgment of the relative quality of federal and ...

January 22, 2016

The Commerce Clause isn't a "do-whatever-you-feel-like" power

In an article published today by the Federalist Society’s Engage, I discuss PLF’s constitutional challenge to the Endangered Species Act in the prairie dog case. As you’ll recall, we represented People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners — a group of Utah residents who have suffered for decades under federal regulat ...

December 18, 2015

Has the pit bull of environmental law been spayed?

The Endangered Species Act has often been called the “pit bull of environmental law” because “it’s short, compact and has a hell of a set of teeth. Because of its teeth, the act can force people to make the kind of tough political decisions they wouldn’t normally make.” As we’ve regularly reported, it can i ...

November 11, 2015

More Delta wrangling

Earlier this week, a coalition of “corporate”** environmental groups sought leave to file a supplemental complaint in NRDC v. Jewell, to challenge the Bureau of Reclamation’s water allocations to Sacramento River water users.  The nub of this case—which has been going on for a decade—is the environmentalists’ o ...

October 05, 2015

PLF's message to water rally: TVA v Hill's days are numbered

Last Friday I spoke at the Take Back Our Water rally in Mendota, California. The theme of almost every speaker on the dais was that the use of the Endangered Species Act to cut off water to Central Valley farms was an act of government that subordinated the good of thousands of individuals, families, and ...

September 30, 2015

Recording of 10th Circuit argument in Utah prairie dog case

The Endangered Species & Wetlands Report has obtained the recording of the Monday’s oral argument in the Utah prairie dog case. As you’ll recall, this is the constitutional challenge to the federal government’s authority to regulate any activity that affects any living thing under the Commerce Clause. As we argue, the Commerce ...

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