Steve Davies

Steve Davies is editor and publisher of Endangered Species & Wetlands Report, which he started in 1995. Davies began his professional journalism career as a copy editor for the weekly Gazette Newspapers in Gaithersburg, Md., before becoming a reporter there. He then moved to Carlisle, Pa., covering Cumberland County government for the daily Sentinel. He returned to the Washington area to cover Congress and federal regulatory agencies for a series of trade newsletters before starting his own publication, which is an independent venture. Click LinkedIn for more detail.

Dec 102014
 

The Forest Service must consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act about “agreed operating procedures” on more than 100,000 acres of forest lands in Montana’s Swan Valley (Swan View Coalition v. Weber, 13-129-M-DWM, D. Mont.).

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy reaffirmed his Sept. 25 ruling requiring compliance with the ESA and National Environmental Policy Act but withdrew portions of his order requiring consultation and NEPA analysis on “site-specific projects.” He noted that at present, no such projects are planned.

“Existing site-specific projects approved or accepted pursuant to the Agreed Operating Procedures for which ground-disturbing activities were underway before the entry of this Court’s September 25 Order may proceed as planned,” Molloy said in his Dec. 8 order. However, “[u]ntil the necessary analysis under NEPA and the ESA is complete, the Forest Service is enjoined from authorizing or accepting Harvest Plans for site-specific projects on the 111,740 acres subject to the Agreed Operating Procedures, including allowing such projects to proceed by default due to the Forest Service’s failure to respond to a Harvest Plan.”

Species potentially affected by activities within the 111,740 acres include Canada lynx, grizzly bears, bull trout and water howellia, a plant.

“[T]he Forest Service’s argument regarding the difficulties and potentially adverse consequences of complying with the law carry little weight here, where the troubles complained of resulted from the Forest Service’s failure to follow the law in the first instance,” Molloy said in his Dec. 8 order. “Had the Forest Service conducted the requisite analysis prior to taking agency action through approving the Agreed Operating Procedures, the agency would not be in its current predicament.”

Here’s Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ press release. Scroll down for the order.

December 9, 2014

Contact: Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, 406 459-5936

Federal court reaffirms ruling protecting endangered species on 111,740 acres of national forest lands

The federal district court in Montana reaffirmed and clarified its September 2014 ruling that the U.S. Forest Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it approved logging procedures for 111,740 acres of newly-acquired national forest lands. The Court’s ruling requires the Forest Service to halt logging until it complies with both the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act requirements to analyze “potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and cumulative impacts on those lands” and “comply with the consultation requirements of Section 7 of the ESA with respect to those protected species affected on the lands.”

These so-called “Legacy Lands” in Montana’s Swan Valley were former Plum Creek Timber Co. lands which were purchased by the federal government and are now part of the national forest and subject to federal laws that protect the environment and threatened or endangered species. These lands are critical habitat for grizzly bears, lynx, wolverine, bull trout, and a very rare plant called water howellia.

Four conservation groups, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan, and Native Ecosystems Council, filed a lawsuit in 2013 in Federal District Court challenging the Glacier Loon Timber Sale near Lindbergh Lake in the Swan Valley.

“The U.S. Forest Service authorized logging procedures and thousands of acres of clearcutting on these lands without any analysis of how the logging might affect and harm endangered species in the area,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “Of particular concern to local conservationists is the lynx, a rare forest cat that requires large expanses of unlogged area for survival. The Swan Valley is the best potential habitat in the Lower 48 states for lynx, but lynx may be declining in the area.”

“The federal court reaffirmed that the federal government violated the law and the ruling couldn’t have been more clear,” Garrity said, pointing to the language in the ruling that “the Court has compelled no substantive changes to Agreed Operating Procedures but merely required the Forest Service to take the procedural steps obligated by law.”

Moreover, in addressing Forest Service concerns that the ruling would enjoin new Harvest Plans until the required compliance with the law has been done, the Court put the blame directly on the agency, writing: “In any case, the Forest Service’s argument regarding the difficulties and potentially adverse consequences of complying with the law carry little weight here, where the troubles complained of resulted from the Forest Service’s failure to follow the law in the first instance. Had the Forest Service conducted the requisite analysis prior to taking agency action through approving the Agreed Operating Procedures, the agency would not be in its current predicament.”

“The bottom line,” Garrity concluded, “is very good news for the threatened and endangered species that call these lands home, since all commercial logging on these ‘Legacy Lands’ must cease until the Forest Service conducts the proper analysis required by the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act and puts in place appropriate protections for the endangered species in the area.”

Dec 092014
 

Update 12/10/14: Final rule released for Public Inspection

Update: FWS news release

The Center for Biological Diversity has announced that the Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to list the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) as threatened.

FWS will hold a teleconference today at 2 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the listing. FWS’s proposal is here.

Here’s CBD’s release Here’s some more information about the bird, on FWS’s ECOS website. American Bird Conservancy also issued a news release

Photo courtesy Fish and Wildlife Service

Dec 082014
 

Following is a press release issued today (Monday, Dec. 8):

CONTACT:

Christie St. Clair (news media only) stclair.christie@epa.gov
o: 202-564-2880
m: 202-768-5780

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 8, 2014

EPA Presidential Advisory Committee Issues Report on Ecological Restoration in the U.S. – Mexico Border Region

WASHINGTON – The Good Neighbor Environmental Board today issued its 16th annual report to the president, which examines environmental degradation in the border region and recommends actions the U.S. federal government can take to protect and restore the border environment. Given the severe impacts on natural resources along the U.S. border with Mexico, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) requested that the Board focus its report on ecological restoration.

The Board is an independent federal advisory committee that develops recommendations to the president on U.S. – Mexico border environment and infrastructure issues. The report, “Ecological Restoration in the U.S. – Mexico Border Region,” was accepted by CEQ on behalf of President Obama.

“The rapid population growth of the region and current environmental conditions in the arid borderlands means we need to build even further on the excellent binational, U.S. federal, Tribal, state and local efforts to resolve environmental degradation,” said Board Chairman Diane Austin. “A more comprehensive approach to ecological restoration throughout the border region will incorporate new, pragmatic initiatives that improve coordination among U.S. agencies and activate engagement among local, state, Tribal and national collaborators on both sides of the international border.”

The report recommends specific federal actions to develop a more comprehensive approach to ecological restoration in the border region. These include:

  • Incorporating low-impact infrastructure design and supporting conservation efforts to avoid resource damage;
  • Promoting existing federal ecological restoration programs and projects;
  • Actively engaging local, state, Tribal and Mexican government partners; and
  • Addressing irrigation, wastewater, and other flow management issues involving national and binational waters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency manages the Board’s activities. Board members include representatives from federal government departments and agencies; state, local and tribal governments in the border region; and community development, academic, health, environmental and other non-governmental organizations.

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board’s 16th report is online at http://www2.epa.gov/faca/good-neighbor-environmental-board-gneb-reports-president-united-states.

For more information on the Board, go to http://www2.epa.gov/faca/gneb

Dec 032014
 

Updated Dec. 4

The Fish and Wildlife Service has released a new candidate species list that includes 18 Hawaiian flowering plants and four ferns found on one or more of the Hawaiian Islands. One other species is making its first appearance on the list: the Ma‘oma‘o, “a large, dusky olive-green honeyeater native to Upolu and Savaii, Independent Samoa (Samoa), and Tutuila Island, American Samoa, but now only found in small populations on the islands of Savaii and Upolu,” FWS said in a news release.

One species was taken off the list — Packard’s milkvetch – “based on the reduction of the species’ primary threat from off-highway vehicle use, the increase in the number of known locations which increased the overall population, and the species’ overall stable population status over a five-year monitoring period.” The plant occurs in Payette County, Idaho.

The CNOR (for Candidate Notice of Review) will be published in the Federal Register Friday, Dec. 5. It went on public inspection Dec. 4.

Here’s the list without the new candidates. Here’s a Center for Biological Diversity news release on the subject

Candidate species

Inverted Common Name Scientific Name Where Listed Lead Region Listing Status
`Aiea Nothocestrum latifolium 1 C
Amphipod, Kenk’s Stygobromus kenki Entire 5 C
`Anunu Sicyos macrophyllus 1 C
Bacora, marron Solanum conocarpum 4 C
Bat, Pacific sheath-tailed Emballonura semicaudata semicaudata American Samoa 1 C
Buckwheat, Frisco Eriogonum soredium 6 C
Bully, Everglades Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense 4 C
Butterfly, Hermes copper Lycaena hermes Entire 8 C
Butterfly, Puerto Rico harlequin Atlantea tulita Entire 4 C
Caddisfly, Sequatchie Glyphopsyche sequatchie Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Baker Station Pseudanophthalmus insularis Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Clifton Pseudanophthalmus caecus Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, coleman Pseudanophthalmus colemanensis Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Fowler’s Pseudanophthalmus fowlerae Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, icebox Pseudanophthalmus frigidus Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Indian Grave Point (=Soothsayer) Pseudanophthalmus tiresias Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, inquirer Pseudanophthalmus inquisitor Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Louisville Pseudanophthalmus troglodytes Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Nobletts Pseudanophthalmus paulus Entire 4 C
Cave beetle, Tatum Pseudanophthalmus parvus Entire 4 C
Chipmunk, Penasco least Tamias minimus atristriatus Entire 2 C
Chub, headwater Gila nigra Entire 2 C
Chub, roundtail Gila robusta Lower Colorado River Basin DPS 2 C
clover, Frisco Trifolium friscanum 6 C
Crabgrass, Florida pineland Digitaria pauciflora 4 C
Crake, spotless Porzana tabuensis American Samoa pop 1 C
Cress, Tahoe yellow Rorippa subumbellata 8 C
Damselfly, orangeblack Hawaiian Megalagrion xanthomelas Entire 1 C
Darter, Arkansas Etheostoma cragini Entire 6 C
Darter, Cumberland arrow Etheostoma sagitta Entire 4 C
Darter, Kentucky arrow Etheostoma spilotum Entire 4 C
Darter, Pearl Percina aurora Entire 4 C
`Ena`ena Pseudognaphalium (=Gnaphalium) sandwicensium var. molokaiense 1 C
Fatmucket, Texas Lampsilis bracteata Entire 2 C
Fawnsfoot, Texas Truncilla macrodon Entire 2 C
fern, Maui Microlepia strigosa var. mauiensis 1 C
Fescue, Guadalupe Festuca ligulata 2 C
Flax, sand Linum arenicola 4 C
Frog, Columbia spotted Rana luteiventris Great Basin DPS 8 C
Frog, relict leopard Lithobates onca Entire 8 C
Ground-Dove, Friendly Gallicolumba stairi American Samoa DPS 1 C
Holei Ochrosia haleakalae 1 C
Hornshell, Texas Popenaias popei Entire 2 C
Kampua`a Kadua (=Hedyotis) fluviatilis 1 C
Kolea Myrsine fosbergii 1 C
maiden fern, Boyds Cyclosorus boydiae 1 C
Makou Ranunculus hawaiensis 1 C
Makou Ranunculus mauiensis 1 C
Ma`oli`oli Schiedea pubescens 1 C
Mariposa lily, Siskiyou Calochortus persistens 8 C
Massasauga (=rattlesnake), eastern Sistrurus catenatus Entire 3 C
Milkvetch, Goose Creek Astragalus anserinus 6 C
Milkvetch, Packard’s Astragalus cusickii var. packardiae 1 C
Milk-vetch, Schmoll Astragalus schmolliae 6 C
Milkvetch, skiff Astragalus microcymbus 6 C
milkvetch, Sleeping Ute Astragalus tortipes 6 C
Moth, rattlesnake-master borer Papaipema eryngii Entire 3 C
Mudalia, black Elimia melanoides Entire 4 C
Murrelet, Guadalupe Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Entire 8 C
Nanu Gardenia remyi 1 C
Naucorid bug (=Furnace Creek), Nevares Spring Ambrysus funebris Entire 8 C
Newt, striped Notophthalmus perstriatus Entire 4 C
No common name Festuca hawaiiensis 1 C
`Ohe Joinvillea ascendens ascendens 1 C
Orb, golden Quadrula aurea Entire 2 C
Orchid, white fringeless Platanthera integrilabia 4 C
Panic grass, Hirst Brothers’ Dichanthelium (=Panicum) hirstii 5 C
Parrot, red-crowned Amazona viridigenalis Entire 2 C
Pea, Big Pine partridge Chamaecrista lineata keyensis 4 C
Peppergrass, Ostler’s Lepidium ostleri 6 C
Pimpleback, smooth Quadrula houstonensis Entire 2 C
Pimpleback, Texas Quadrula petrina Entire 2 C
Pine, whitebark Pinus albicaulis 6 C
Pipit, Sprague’s Anthus spragueii Entire 6 C
Popolo Solanum nelsonii 1 C
Prairie-clover, Florida Dalea carthagenensis floridana 4 C
Rabbit, New England cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis Entire 5 C
Ramshorn, magnificent Planorbella magnifica Entire 4 C
Redhorse, Sicklefin Moxostoma sp. Entire 4 C
Reedgrass, Maui Calamagrostis expansa 1 C
Riffle beetle, Stephan’s Heterelmis stephani Entire 2 C
Rockcress, Fremont County Boechera pusilla 6 C
Sage-grouse, greater Centrocercus urophasianus Columbia basin DPS, WA 1 C
Sage-grouse, greater Centrocercus urophasianus entire 6 C
Salamander, Berry Cave Gyrinophilus gulolineatus Entire 4 C
Sandmat, pineland Chamaesyce deltoidea pinetorum 4 C
Sand-verbena, Ramshaw Meadows Abronia alpina 8 C
Shrimp, anchialine pool Metabetaeus lohena Entire 1 C
Shrimp, anchialine pool Palaemonella burnsi Entire 1 C
Shrimp, anchialine pool Procaris hawaiana Entire 1 C
silverbush, Blodgett’s Argythamnia blodgettii 4 C
Smelt, longfin, San Francisco Bay delta population Spirinchus thaleichthys San Francisco Bay delta population 8 C
snail, sisi Ostodes strigatus Entire 1 C
Snail, Tutuila tree Eua zebrina Entire 1 C
Snake, Louisiana pine Pituophis ruthveni Entire 4 C
Snowfly, Arapahoe Capnia arapahoe Entire 6 C
Spineflower, San Fernando Valley Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina 8 C
Springsnail, Huachuca Pyrgulopsis thompsoni Entire 2 C
Springsnail, Page Pyrgulopsis morrisoni Entire 2 C
Spurge, wedge Chamaesyce deltoidea serpyllum 4 C
Squirrel, Southern Idaho ground Urocitellus endemicus Entire 1 C
Squirrel, Washington ground Urocitellus washingtoni Entire 1 C
Stonefly, meltwater lednian Lednia tumana Entire 6 C
Storm-petrel, band-rumped Oceanodroma castro Hawaii DPS 1 C
Thistle, Wright’s marsh Cirsium wrightii 2 C
Tiger beetle, highlands Cicindela highlandensis Entire 4 C
Tortoise, gopher Gopherus polyphemus eastern 4 C
Tortoise, Sonoran desert Gopherus morafkai Entire 2 C
Treefrog, Arizona Hyla wrightorum Huachuca/Canelo Population 2 C
Turtle, Sonoyta mud Kinosternon sonoriense longifemorale Entire 2 C
Twistflower, bracted Streptanthus bracteatus 2 C
vole, red tree Arborimus longicaudus North Oregon Coast population 1 C
Walrus, Pacific Odobenus rosmarus ssp. divergens Entire 7 C
Warbler, elfin-woods Dendroica angelae Entire 4 C
Waterdog, black warrior (=Sipsey Fork) Necturus alabamensis Entire 4 C
Wawae`iole Huperzia (=Phlegmariurus) stemmermanniae 1 C
Wormwood, Northern Artemisia campestris var. wormskioldii 1 C
Yellow-faced bee, anthricinan Hylaeus anthracinus Entire 1 C
Yellow-faced bee, assimulans Hylaeus assimulans Entire 1 C
Yellow-faced bee, easy Hylaeus facilis Entire 1 C
yellow-faced bee, Hawaiian Hylaeus kuakea Entire 1 C
yellow-faced bee, Hawaiian Hylaeus longiceps Entire 1 C
yellow-faced bee, Hawaiian Hylaeus mana Entire 1 C
Yellow-faced bee, hilaris Hylaeus hilaris Entire 1 C

 

Dec 032014
 

From a UC-Santa Cruz news release: “It hits when the population is at its smallest, and by the end of winter nearly 100 percent of the bats in a cave can be infected, which helps explain why it has such large impacts,” said Kate Langwig, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz and first author of the paper.

Also from the release: “The study provides valuable information for planning strategies to manage white-nose syndrome. If scientists can develop an effective treatment, for example, this study indicates that the best time to apply it would probably be early winter, Langwig said.”

Lead author Kate Langwig emerges from a cave in New York

From the abstract: “Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to describe the seasonality of transmission in this emerging wildlife disease.”

News release from UC-Santa Cruz

Link to abstract: Host and pathogen ecology drive the seasonal dynamics of a fungal disease, white-nose syndrome | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences.

Dec 032014
 

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton has approved a consent decree requiring the National Marine Fisheries Service to designate critical habitat for the New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina, South Atlantic, and Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segments of the Atlantic sturgeon (Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. U.S. Dep’t of Commerce, 14-434-RBW, D.D.C.).

Under the agreement, NMFS will propose CH for the five DPS’s by Nov. 30, 2015, and publish final rules a year after that.

The government agreed to pay the plaintiffs $12,615 in attorney fees and costs.

Here’s the full consent decree, as signed by Walton Dec. 1:

 

Dec 022014
 

Proposed rule  |   Phoca hispida info   |  Center for Biological Diversity press release

From the proposal, scheduled for publication Dec. 3

NMFS news release (below) 12/2/14
Julie Speegle, 907-586-7032 w., 907-321-7032 c.

NOAA Fisheries proposes Arctic ringed seal critical habitat, seeks public comment

In December 2012, NOAA Fisheries declared four subspecies of ringed seals, including the Arctic ringed seal in Alaskan waters, as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). After extensive input from local and state governments, Native partners, and the public to determine proposed critical habitat areas, NOAA Fisheries today is releasing those proposed designations for public comment. The proposed critical habitat designation includes no regulatory restrictions, only a consultation requirement for federal agencies. Arctic ringed seals are also protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The proposed critical habitat area in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas provides sea ice conditions that are essential for the survival of Arctic ringed seals. The designation of critical habitat areas, land or water under United States jurisdiction that includes habitat features essential to the conservation of a threatened or endangered species, is required for species listed under the ESA.

“After reviewing the best available information, our scientists identified the habitat features that are essential for sustaining Arctic ringed seals–a species that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future due to climate change,” said NOAA Fisheries Alaska regional administrator Dr. James Balsiger. “We look forward to hearing from members of the public on this proposal.”

Ringed seals nurse and protect their pups in snow caves, which are threatened by late ice formation in the fall, rain-on-snow events in the late winter, earlier break-up of spring ice, as well as decreasing snow depths, which are projected to be too shallow for snow cave formation by the end of the century. Ringed seals also rely on sea ice for extended periods during molting, breeding, whelping, and nursing. Scientific evidence shows that sea ice is projected to shrink both in extent and duration in the future.

A critical habitat designation must be supported by a full analysis of economic, national security, and other impacts. In 2012, the President directed that any future designations of critical habitat carefully consider all public comments on relevant science and economic impact, including those that suggest methods for minimizing regulatory burdens. NOAA Fisheries is releasing its draft analysis of these impacts for review during the comment period. NOAA Fisheries is also seeking input on whether any particular areas should be considered for exclusion from the proposed critical habitat.

Upon designation of a critical habitat area, federal agencies are required to consult with NOAA Fisheries on actions they authorize, fund, or carry out to ensure their actions are not likely to destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Designation of critical habitat would not affect subsistence harvest of ringed seals by Alaska Natives.

There will be a 90-day public comment period on the proposal and NOAA Fisheries will soon announce locations and times for public hearings. The agency will consider comments received as it develops the final critical habitat designation.

The public may submit comments, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2013-0114, via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov

NOAA Fisheries will also accept written comments addressed to: Jon Kurland, Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668

For more information, visit http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/seals/ice.htm

Nov 252014
 

Update (Dec. 2, 2014):

Environmental groups also are pushing to stop the hunt on adjacent FS lands. Here’s a letter from Western Watersheds Project, Advocates for the West, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, and Project Coyote.

Update: BLM released a statement and its decision to rescind the afternoon of Nov. 25th. Scroll down to read it.

The Bureau of Land Management has decided to cancel a planned hunt for wolves, coyotes and other species on about 3 million acres in Idaho.

The permit for the so-called “predator derby” would have allowed three days of hunting each year for five years, starting Jan. 2. The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Project Coyote and Defenders of Wildlife had filed a lawsuit challenging the hunt and were waiting for BLM’s response to the groups’ request for an expedited briefing schedule.

The hunt is still scheduled to occur on Forest Service lands, however. (see above for update)

Juvenile coyotes are often heard in summer, trying out their voices (Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

“We’re so glad that the deadly derby has been canceled this year,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, who represents the Center, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote. “These sort of ruthless kill-fests have no place in this century. We intend to pursue every available remedy to stop these horrible contests.” (Press release from environmental groups)

“The hunt would have allowed up to 500 participants compete to kill the largest number of wolves, coyotes and other animals for cash and prizes,” the groups’ press release said. “Contest organizers are hoping to expand their contest statewide.”

BLM has yet to comment publicly on why it stopped the contest. Calls to BLM in Idaho and to a lawyer with derby organizer Idaho for Wildlife have yet to be returned. The court docket also has no filing from BLM.

“I believe that DOJ didn’t want to defend our motion because we have a good record,” Atwood said.

According to the bureau’s Finding of No Significant Impact, “For the purposes of the competition, predators include a variety of species, including, wolves, coyotes, weasels, skunks, jackrabbits, raccoons, and starlings. All rules and hunting regulations would be followed and adhered to by all participants.”

BLM grants permit (11/13/14)

Public comment period open on permit (10/2/14)

BLM statement, 11/25/14

After careful consideration, the BLM has decided to withdraw the Record of Decision for the Predator Hunt Derby Special Recreation Permit. This comes as a result of uncertainties about the details of the Predator Hunt as provided by Idaho for Wildlife and operational changes that occurred after the Decision was released which then created ambiguity, making it difficult to conclusively determine whether an SRP was required, appropriate or administratively subject to a waiver under our regulations.

Full decision follows

Nov 252014
 

The National Marine Fisheries Service has agreed to designate critical habitat for the New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina, South Atlantic, and Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segments of Atlantic sturgeon (Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. U.S. Department of Commerce, 14-434-RBW).

In a consent decree filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., the agency promised to propose the designations within a year — specifically, Nov. 30, 2015. The final designations will follow a year after the proposals.

The service listed the DPS’s in 2012. (Final rule-NE DPS’s; Final rule-SE DPS’s). All but the Gulf of Maine DPS were listed as endangered. The GoM DPS was listed as threatened.

The government also agreed to pay $12,615 in attorneys’ fees. In addition to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, plaintiffs include the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Nov 212014
 

Lawsuit Launched to Prevent Sea Turtle Deaths (CBD press release)