Oct 152014

As the headline says, Leo Begay, a member of the Navajo nation, got four months’ prison time and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine after pleading guilty to selling feather fans made up of feathers from bald and golden eagles and two species of hawk, the rough-legged hawk and the red-tailed hawk.

Begay was the “last defendant to be sentenced following a nationwide investigation – Operation Silent Wilderness – by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife into the illegal killing and commercialization of protected eagles and other migratory birds,” according to a Justice Department release.

Indictment (5/22/13)

Indian Country coverage of indictment

Judgment (10/8/2014)

Oct 152014
Nevada congressman goes after FWS regional director for sage-grouse comments

A Nevada congressman has questioned the Fish and Wildlife Service’s knowledge of sage-grouse habitat in his state and threatened to hold hearings if he doesn’t get answers to questions posed in an Oct. 10 letter to Pacific Southwest regional director Ren Lohoefener. Lohoefener sent a letter to the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council in Carson City, Nev., [...]

Oct 132014

Environmental groups announced a couple of new lawsuits Monday, one against the Fish and Wildlife Service for withdrawing its proposal to lst the wolverine, and another against the Army Corps of Engineers for its use of nationwide permit 13. The first was filed today in Montana (Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, no # or [...]

Oct 102014

Apparently, 217,156 comments were not enough. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have decided to extend the comment period on their controversial proposal to define “waters of the United States.” Interested parties will have until Nov. 14 to let the agencies know what they think, and how they feel, about the proposed definition. The [...]

Oct 092014

The Bureau of Reclamation has increased flows at Iron Gate Dam “to reduce the impacts of a parasite outbreak in coho and Chinook salmon in the upper Klamath River,” the agency said last week (press release, reprinted below). The increased flows come on the heels of a judge’s decision Oct. 1 that rejected most of [...]

Sep 302014

Opinion The case was on remand from D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Excerpts: “The Court agrees that EPA must show a causal link between the discharges it seeks to  prohibit and the unacceptable adverse effects that justify its decision to prohibit them. So the cause of the unacceptable adverse effects must be related to the [...]

Sep 302014

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras has rejected claims by Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity that FWS improperly withdrew its proposed listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard (Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell, 13-0919 RC, D.D.C.). “The FWS’s withdrawal decision was neither arbitrary and capricious under the ESA and APA, nor contrary to ESA [...]

Sep 302014

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has denied motions by Wyoming and the federal government to alter her ruling that reinstated endangered species protections for the gray wolf in that state. A hearing was held today in Jackson’s courtroom. Although ESWR was unable to attend, a docket entry in the case states simply that the judge had [...]

Sep 302014

The Bureau of Land Management must look closely at the impact of grazing on greater sage-grouse, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Monday, Sept. 29 (Western Watersheds Project v. Jewell, 08-435-BLW, D. Id.). Western Watersheds Project called the decision a “big win” and said it’s significant for a few reasons. “Judge Winmill found that [...]