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&# ...


Global warming and bearded seals

October 26, 2016 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to list a population of bearded seal. Dwelling in the frigid Bering Sea, the listed seal population is, by current numbers, doing quite well. Why then Endangered Species Act protections? Because the Service, citing the climate models of the ...


Is economically disastrous environmental regulation subject to judicial review?

May 04, 2016 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

So ask PLF attorneys on behalf of trade and property rights groups in a cert petition filed this week.  The case, Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. United States Department of Commerce, concerns the critical habitat designation for a population of the North American green sturgeon.  The sturgeon is a species of fish listed … ...


More Delta wrangling

November 11, 2015 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

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 ...


Judge rules against hatcheries

January 23, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Earlier this week, Judge Ancer Haggerty of the District of Oregon ruled in Native Fish Society v. National Marine Fisheries Service that the current operation of the Sandy River fish hatchery violates the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.  The Sandy River is a popular salmon-fishing spot just outside of Portland.  ...


Killer whale delisting petition denied

August 08, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued its 12-month finding on Pacific Legal Foundation’s petition to delist the Southern Resident population of killer whale from the Endangered Species Act.  The Service denied the petition, concluding that none of the new information it had reviewed was inconsistent with the Service’s ...


Are ribbon seals more adaptable than polar bears?

July 18, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it would not list the ribbon seal under the Endangered Species Act.  The agency explained that the species is very adaptable, and should be able to survive the negative impacts of declining sea ice habitat.  That is an interesting conclusion, because the Fish & Wildlife Service ...


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 ...


National Academy of Sciences report on pesticides

May 09, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, the Committee on Ecological Risk Assessment of the National Academy of Sciences released a report urging reform in the registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.  The report focuses on Endangered Species Act consultation among the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Fish  ...