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ESA: Related Cases

Case Name Citation Summary
Adams v. Vance   187 U.S. App. D.C. 41; 570 F.2d 950 (1977)   An American Eskimo group had hunted bowhead whales as a form of subsistence for generations and gained an exemption from the commission to hunt the potentially endangered species.  An injunction was initially granted, but the Court of Appeals vacated the injunction because the interests of the United States would likely have been compromised by requiring the filing of the objection and such an objection would have interfered with the goal of furthering international regulation and protection in whaling matters.  
Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar   672 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012)  

Environmental organizations challenged constitutionality of Section 1713 of the 2011 Appropriations Act ordering Secretary of Interior to reissue a final rule removing a distinct gray wolf population in the northern Rocky Mountains from protections of Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court of Appeals held that the statute did not violate the separation of powers doctrine, and reasoned that Congress amended, rather than repealed, ESA as to delisting of gray wolf by directing Secretary to reissue rule without regard to any other statute or regulation.

 
Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Weber   --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2013 WL 5844447 (D.Mont.,2013)   An environmental group sued the U.S. Forest Service claiming it violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it permitted the implementation of the Flathead National Forest Precommercial Thinning Project. The court that the defendants' designation of matrix habitat was not arbitrary and that there was no showing of irreparable harm to lynx habitat to require the Service to be enjoined from implementing project. Likewise, plaintiffs’ claims regarding the grizzly bear’s critical habitat did not prevail; nor did the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the National Forest Management Act’s Inland Native Fish Strategy. The court, therefore, granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs' motion.
 
Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Lyder   728 F.Supp.2d 1126 (D.Mont., 2010)   Plaintiffs challenge the USFWS' 2009 designation of approximately 39,000 sq. miles of critical habitat for the United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx. Specifically, they contend that the Service: (1) arbitrarily failed to designate occupied critical habitat in certain national forests in Montana and Idaho, as well as in Colorado entirely; (2) arbitrarily failed to designate any unoccupied critical habitat whatsoever; and (3) failed to base its decision on the "best scientific data available." The court concluded that the FWS arbitrarily excluded areas occupied by lynx in Idaho and Montana and failed to properly determine whether areas occupied by the lynx in Colorado possess the attributes essential to the conservation of the species.  
American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.   659 F.3d 13 (C.A.D.C., 2011)   The Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, affirmed the lower court's finding that plaintiffs lack standing to sue Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for violation of the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the use of two training methods for controlling elephants, bullhooks and chaining, constitute a "taking" under the Act. Here, the court found no clear error by the district court as to former employee Tom Rider's standing to sue where Rider's testimony did not prove an injury-in-fact. As to API's standing, the court held that API did not meet either informational standing or standing under a Havens test.  
American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc.   677 F.Supp.2d 55, 2009 WL 5159752 (D.D.C., 2009)  

This opinion represents the nine-year culmination of litigation brought by plaintiff Tom Rider and Animal Protection Institute (API) against Defendant Feld Entertainment, Inc. (“FEI”) - the operator of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey traveling circus. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant's use of bullhooks and prolonged periods of chaining with respect to its circus elephants violates the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq. This Court held that plaintiffs failed to establish standing under Article III of the United States Constitution and entered judgment in favor of defendants. Since the Court concluded that plaintiffs lack standing, it did not reach the merits of plaintiffs' allegations that FEI “takes” its elephants in violation of Section 9 of the ESA. 

 
American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus   317 F.3d 334 (C.A.D.C.,2003)   The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and Thomas Rider sued Ringling Bros. and its owner, Feld Entertainment, Inc., claiming that Asian elephants are an endangered species and that the circus mistreated its elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. The only question was whether, as the district court ruled in dismissing their complaint, plaintiffs (including a former elephant handler) lack standing under Article III of the Constitution.  The Court of Appeals held that the former elephant handler demonstrated present or imminent injury and established redressability where the elephant handler alleged enough to show that his injuries will likely be redressed if he is successful on the merits.  
American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus   2008 WL 3411666 (D.D.C.)   On Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery from Defendants, The United States District Court, District of Columbia, determined that “master schedules” and “performance reports” were not documents pertaining to the chaining of elephants, and/or describing practices and procedures for maintaining elephants on the train, and Plaintiffs were therefore not entitled to such documents. The Court could not determine whether certain audio tapes demanded by Plaintiffs pertained to the medical condition or health status of any Asian elephants in Defendants’ custody during a specified time-frame, or pertained to the investigation of Defendants’ operation conducted by the Department of Agriculture, without being given the opportunity to listen to and review the audio tapes. Plaintiffs’ mere speculation that Defendants hired an outside consulting firm to follow and/or counteract a previous employee’s efforts did not entitle Plaintiffs to any further judicial action.  
American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus   502 F.Supp.2d 103 (D.D.C., 2007)   Plaintiffs-ASPCA filed suit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, Inc, under the citizen-suit provision of the Endangered Species Act.  Plaintiffs allege that FEI routinely beats elephants, chains them for long periods of time, hits them with sharp bull hooks, breaks baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly removes baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned. This conduct, plaintiffs contend, violates the "take" provision of the ESA. In the court's opinion regarding defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the pre-Act exemption does not insulate defendant from claims of taking under the ESA. However, the court found that the captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permit held by defendant does not allow for challenge under a citizen-suit provision.  
Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin   623 F.3d 19 (C.A.1 (Me.), 2010).   Animal welfare organizations sued the State of Maine under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to stop the authorization of trapping activity that affected Canada lynx. The Court of Appeals held that such organizations had standing to sue, but that the District Court did not err in its refusal to grant a permanent injunction banning foothold traps or other relief.  
Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin   665 F.Supp.2d 19 (D.Me., 2009)   Plaintiffs in this case filed motions for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order to halt the commencement of the early coyote and fox trapping season in the state of Maine. Plaintiffs claim that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW)Commissioner had violated the ESA by allowing trapping activities that “take” Canada lynx, a threatened species. The DIFW stated that the Court has already addressed a motion for preliminary injunction and an emergency motion for temporary restraining order, with no change to circumstances. In denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and TRO, the Court found that Plaintiffs had not sustained their burden to justify the extraordinary remedy of an injunction. Further, the Court found that the circumstances that led the Court to deny the Plaintiffs' emergency motion for a temporary restraining order have not changed.  
Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin   588 F.Supp.2d 110, (D.Me.,2008)  

After Defendant, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (“DIFW”) adopted an emergency rule imposing limitations on the use of Conibear traps in response to a preliminary injunction issued by the Court after the death of a Canada lynx, a threatened species, Plaintiffs moved for an emergency temporary restraining order to enjoin the DIFW from allowing the use of Conibear traps for the remainder of the State’s trapping season after the death of an additional Canada lynx, caused by an illegally set Conibear trap.  The United States District Court, D. Maine denied Plaintiffs’ motion, finding that Plaintiffs failed to show a causal connection between the State’s licensure and regulation of the trapping and any Endangered Species Act violations resulting from the lynx’s death.

 
Arizona Cattle Growers' Association v. Salazar   606 F.3d 1160, (C.A.9 (Ariz.),2010)  

Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (Plaintiff) challenged Fish and Wildlife Service's (Defendant) designation of critical habitat for Mexican spotted owls under the Endangered Species Act. The issues were whether Defendant impermissibly included unoccupied areas as critical habitat, and whether Defendant impermissibly employed the baseline approach in its economic analysis. The Court held that 1) Defendant did not designate unoccupied areas as critical habitat because “occupied” areas included areas where the species was likely to be present, and 2) that Defendant properly applied the baseline approach because the economic impact of listing a species as endangered was not intended to be included in the economic analysis of the critical habitat designation.

 
Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon   515 U.S. 687 (1995)   (edited from Syllabus of the Court) As relevant here, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA or Act) makes it unlawful for any person to “take” endangered or threatened species, § 9(a)(1)(B), and defines “take” to mean to “harass, harm, pursue,” “ wound,” or “kill,” § 3(19). In 50 CFR § 17.3, petitioner Secretary of the Interior further defines “harm” to include “significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife.” Respondents, persons and entities dependent on the forest products industries and others, challenged this regulation on its face, claiming that Congress did not intend the word “take” to include habitat modification. Held: The Secretary reasonably construed Congress' intent when he defined “harm” to include habitat modification.  
Cabinet Resource Group v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   465 F.Supp.2d 1067 (D. Mont. 2006)   The Forest Service builds roads in National Forests, and has to determine what density of road coverage is safe for grizzly bear survival in making its Land Use Plan. Here, the Land Use Plan did not violate the Endangered Species Act, because an agency action is not required to help the survival of an endangered species, it simply may not reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of the endangered species, grizzly bears. However, because the Forest Service relied upon a scientific study with acknowledged weaknesses to make its road standards, but failed to adequately address those weaknesses in its Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Forest Service violated NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).  
Carpenters Indus. Council v. Salazar   734 F.Supp.2d 126 (D.D.C., 2010)   Plaintiffs, Carpenters Industrial Council, among several, averred that the FWS, in designating the owl as a "threatened species," violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the ESA, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Defendant, the FWS, confess legal error as to the northern spotted owl’s 2008 Critical Habitat Designation and 2008 Recovery Plan and ask that the court: (1) remand and vacate the 2008 Designation; (2) remand the 2008 Plan; and (3) order the FWS to revise its recovery plan and, if necessary, thereafter complete a new critical habitat designation. First, as to Defendant’s request to remand the designation, the court held that it, in fact, has such authority to do so, and such action is moreover appropriate, since the Washington Oversight Committee erred in proffering "jeopardizing" advice to the FWS. However, as to the whether the 2008 Designation may be vacated, the court concluded that it lacked the authority to do so "at this stage of the litigation." As to whether the 2008 Recovery Plan may be vacated, the court held that, given the interconnectedness of the 2008 Designation and the 2008 Plan, remand is appropriate.  
Center for Biological Diversity v. Badgley   335 F.3d 1097 (C.A.9 (Or.),2003)  

The Center for Biological Diversity and eighteen other nonprofit organizations appealed the district court's summary judgment in favor of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.  The Center claimed the Secretary of the Interior violated the Endangered Species Act by making an erroneous, arbitrary, and capricious determination that listing the Northern Goshawk (a short-winged, long-tailed hawk that lives in forested regions of higher latitude in the northern hemisphere and is often considered an indicator species) in the contiguous United States west of the 100th meridian as a threatened or endangered species was not warranted.  In the absence of evidence that the goshawk is endangered or likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future, the court found the FWS's decision was not arbitrary or capricious and affirmed the summary disposition.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Chertoff   Slip Copy, 2009 WL 839042 (N.D.Cal.)  

Plaintiff, the Center for Biological Diversity, brought an action against Defendant, the United States Coast Guard, alleging that Defendant violated the ESA by failing to consult with the NMFS to ensure that Defendant’s activities in the Santa Barbara Channel and other shipping lanes off the California Coast would not harm the continued existence of threatened and/or endangered species after Defendant amended Traffic Separation Schemes (“TSS”) and a number of blue whales were subsequently struck by ships and killed. On the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment, the United States District Court, N.D. California dismissed Plaintiff’s claims pertaining to Defendant’s implementation of or actions under the TSS in the approaches to Los Angeles – Long Beach and granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denied Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment with respect to Defendant’s alleged violations of the ESA arising out of Defendant’s implementation of or actions under the TSS in the Santa Barbara Channel.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Henson   Slip Copy, 2009 WL 1882827 (D.Or.)  

Defendants brought a motion to stay in an action brought by Plaintiffs seeking re-initiation of consultation under ESA with respect to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Habitat Conservation Plan promulgated in 1995 and their Incidental Take Permit obtained in 1995, which allows incidental taking of Northern Spotted Owls for sixty years in connection with timber harvest in the Elliot State Forest.  The United States District Court granted Defendants’ motion, finding that the potential harm and likelihood of damage to Plaintiffs if the action is stayed is low. The court also found that Defendants showed an adequate likelihood of hardship in having to go forward without a stay. The stay would likely result in the action ultimately becoming moot and/or at the very least greatly simplified, therefore saving judicial time and resources.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   2008 WL 4542947 (N.D.Cal.)  

Plaintiffs brought various claims against Defendants relating to Defendants’ final rule designating the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Defendants’ promulgation of a special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA, allowing certain activities with respect to the polar bear that might otherwise be prohibited.  The United States District Court, N.D. California tentatively granted a non-profit organization’s motion to intervene with respect to the action challenging Defendants’ section 4(d) rule as contrary to the ESA, finding that although the Organization did not show that the current Plaintiffs will not adequately represent the Organization’s interest, a decision for Defendants could jeopardize the Organization’s interests and the Organization’s motion was timely.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   607 F.Supp.2d 1078 (D.Ariz.,2009)  

Cross motions for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ claim against Defendants, the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, alleging that the Secretary’s failure to designate critical habitat and prepare a recovery plan for the jaguar was unlawful under the ESA. The United States District Court, D. Arizona granted Plaintiffs’ motion in part and denied Plaintiffs’ motion in part, finding that Defendants’ determination that designation of a critical habitat would not be prudent must be set aside because it did not appear to be based on the best scientific evidence available as required by the ESA, and that Defendants’ determination not to prepare a recovery plan must also be set aside and remanded for further consideration because the determination was inconsistent with Defendants’ own policy guidance and long-standing practice concerning the distinction between foreign and domestic species.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4543043 (N.D.Cal.)  

In an action alleging multiple violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) pursuant to Defendants’ final rule designating the polar bear as threatened and promulgation of a special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA, Defendants Kempthorne and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service brought a motion to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Intervenor-Defendant Arctic Slope Regional Corporation brought a separate motion to transfer the case to the District of Alaska, and Intervenor-Defendant Alaska Oil and Gas Association filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL Panel) seeking to transfer the case to the D.C. District Court.  The United States District Court, N.D. California denied the motion to transfer the case to the District of Alaska, and decided to take the motion to transfer to the District of Columbia into submission and rule on it once the MDL Panel has issued its decision on whether to transfer the case to the District of Columbia.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne   2008 WL 1902703 (N.D.Cal. 2008)  

Plaintiff Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) seeks to compel Defendants to perform their mandatory duty under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to publish a final listing determination for the polar bear. Plaintiffs have filed a summary judgment motion seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment to this effect. The action began back in 2005 when CBD petitioned to list the polar bear as endangered under the ESA.  Plaintiffs' action arises from Defendants' failure to issue a final listing determination and critical habitat designation by January 9, 2008-within one year of publication of the proposed rule-as required by the ESA (16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(6)). Since Defendants missed this non-discretionary deadline, and there was no dispute of material fact, summary judgment was granted by the court.

 
Center For Biological Diversity v. Lohn   511 F.3d 960 (C.A.9 (Wash.), 2007)   In this case, the court is asked to decide whether the federal government's policy for listing killer whales under the Endangered Species Act is invalid. The Center for Biological Diversity, along with eleven co-petitioners not parties to this appeal, petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the Southern Resident killer whale as an endangered species under the ESA. Initially, the Service issued a proposed ruling based on its DPS policy that concluded listing the Southern Resident was “not warranted” because the Southern Resident was not “significant” to its taxon. After the Center challenged this action, the district court set aside the Service's “not warranted” finding because it failed to utilize the best available scientific data when determining whether the Southern Resident was “significant” under that policy. Pursuant to the district court's order, the Service reexamined the listing petition and issued a proposed rule that recommended listing the Southern Resident as a threatened species. The Center appealed, and the Service issued a final rule listing the Southern Resident as endangered (as opposed to threatened). The Service contends that this case is now moot because it has ultimately issued a final rule listing the Southern Resident as an endangered species. This court agreed, finding that declaring the DPS Policy unlawful would serve no purpose in this case because the Service has listed the Southern Resident as an endangered species, the Center's ultimate objective.  
Center for Biological Diversity v. Lohn   483 F.3d 984 (C.A.9 (Wash.), 2007)  

This case questions whether the federal government's policy for listing killer whales under the Endangered Species Act is invalid. The Fish and Wildlife Service initially issued a proposed ruling that listing the Southern Resident was “not warranted” because the Southern Resident was not “significant” to its taxon. The district court set aside the Service's “not warranted” finding, and ordered the Service to reexamine whether the Southern Resident should be listed as an endangered species and to issue a new finding within twelve months. After again being challenged by plaintiff, the Service issued a final rule listing the Southern Resident as an endangered (as opposed to threatened) species. The Service contends that this case is now moot because it has, since the district court's decision, issued a proposed rule that recommended listing the Southern Resident as a threatened species and ultimately has issued a final rule listing the Southern Resident as an endangered species. This court agreed, and thus vacated the district court's order and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss the case as moot.

 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Lubchenco   758 F.Supp.2d 945 (N.D.Cal., 2010)  
In this civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief, the court found that Defendants did not violate the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) in failing to list the ribbon seal as threatened or endangered due to shrinking sea ice habitat essential to the species’ survival. Defendants did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in concluding that the impact of Russia’s commercial harvest on the ribbon seal was low, that 2050 was the “foreseeable future” due to uncertainty about global warming and ocean acidification farther into the future, or its choice of scientific and commercial data to use. The Court denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and granted Defendants' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.
 
Center for Biological Diversity v. Morgenweck   351 F.Supp.2d (D. Co. 2004)   The United States Fish and Wildlife Service completed a review of an environmental group petition that requested the Yellowstone cutthroat trout be listed as an endangered species.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service refused to list the fish as an endangered species and the environmental group brought an action to set aside the agency's findings.  The District Court held in favor of the environmental group reasoning the agency's rejection of the petition was arbitrary and capricious and the review of the petition was not conducted properly.  
Center for Biological Diversity v. Norton   240 F.Supp.2d 1090 (D.Ariz. 2003)   This lawsuit arises out of the Fish and Wildlife Service's ("FWS") designation of approximately 30% of the critical habitat originally proposed for the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida ) under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA").  In analyzing the FWS's decision under both the standard of review for the APA and the deference afforded by the Chevron standard, the court found that the FWS's interpretation of "critical habitat" was "nonsensical."  It is not determinative whether the habitat requires special management, but, pursuant to the ESA, it is whether the habitat is "essential to the conservation of the species" and special management of that habitat is possibly necessary.   Thus, defendant's interpretation of the ESA received no deference by the court and the court found defendant's application of the ESA unlawful, as Defendant and FWS have been repeatedly told by federal courts that the existence of other habitat protections does not relieve Defendant from designating critical habitat.  The court found that the FWS's Final Rule violated both the ESA and the APA in implementing its regulations.  
Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar   Slip Copy, 2011 WL 6000497 (D.Ariz.)   Plaintiffs filed action against Interior and FWS to set aside FWS's finding that the desert bald eagle does not qualify as a distinct population segment (“DPS”) entitled to protection under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). Plaintiff's motions for summary judgment was granted. The Court found that FWS' 12–month finding was based on the 2007 delisting rule, which failed to comport with the notice, comment, and consultation requirements of the ESA. The Court set aside the 12–month finding as an abuse of discretion.
 
Center For Biological Diversity v. Scarlett   452 F.Supp.2d 966 (N.D.Cal., 2006)   Plaintiffs Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, Sierra Club, John Muir Project, Natural Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife move for an award of attorney fees and costs pursuant to § 11(g)(4) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 USC § 1540(g)(4), in connection with their efforts to have the California spotted owl listed as endangered. The Court denied the Center's motion

for attorney fees because they failed to realize the goals of their lawsuit.

 
Cetacean Cmty. v. President of the United States   249 F. Supp. 2d 1206 (D.C. Hawaii, 2003)   Plaintiff, a community of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, sued Defendants, the President of the United States and the United States Secretary of Defense, alleging violations of the (NEPA), the (APA), the (ESA), and the (MMPA).  The Plaintffs were concerned with the United States Navy's development and use of a low frequency active sonar (LFAS) system. The community alleged a failure to comply with statutory requirements with respect to LFAS use during threat and warfare conditions.  
Cetacean Community v. Bush   386 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2004)   In this case, the court was asked to decide whether the world's cetaceans have standing to bring suit in their own name under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.  The Cetaceans challenge the United States Navy's use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar ("SURTASS LFAS") during wartime or heightened threat conditions.  In finding that the Cetaceans lacked standing, the court here agreed with the district court in Citizens to End Animal Suffering & Exploitation, Inc., that "[i]f Congress and the President intended to take the extraordinary step of authorizing animals as well as people and legal entities to sue, they could, and should, have said so plainly." 836 F.Supp. at 49.  In the absence of any such statement in the ESA, the MMPA, or NEPA, or the APA, the court concluded that the Cetaceans do not have statutory standing to sue.  
Citizens for Better Forestry v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture   632 F.Supp.2d 968 (N.D.Cal.,2009)   Plaintiffs Citizens for Better Forestry brought an action against Defendant U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging failure to adhere to certain procedures required by NEPA and the ESA after Defendant promulgated regulations governing the development of management plans for forests within the National Forest System upon preparation of an allegedly insufficient Environmental Impact Statement and without preparation of a Biological Assessment or consultation with the Fisheries and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. On parties’ cross motions, the United States District Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Plaintiffs had standing, that Defendant did not comply with its requirements under the NEPA because the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Defendant did not adequately evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposed regulations, and that Defendant did not comply with its requirements under the ESA because Defendant did not prepare an adequate Biological Assessment.  
City of Sausalito v. O'Neill   386 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2004)   A City sought to prevent the National Park Service from implementing a development plan in a nearby recreational area claiming the Park service had violated various environmental statutes.  The trial court held the City did not have standing to assert most of its claims and lost on the merits of the remaining claims.  The Court of Appeals held the City did have standing to assert all of its claims, but lost on the merits of all its claims except those under the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.   
Conservancy v. USFWS   677 F.3d 1073 (C.A.11 (Fla.))   In this case, many environmental advocacy groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate critical habitat for a species, the Florida panther, which was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1967. The petition was denied. Claiming the agency's action was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act, the groups filed a citizens suit under the ESA in district court. At district, the group's complaints were dismissed and the groups subsequently lost on appeal.  
Conservation Congress v. U.S. Forest Service   --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 2631449 (9th Cir. 2013)   When two federal agencies authorized the Mudflow Vegetation Management Project, a conservation group sued the agencies for failing to adequately evaluate the project's effects on the Northern Spotted Owl's critical habitat, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Upon appeal of the lower court's decision, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the conservation group's challenge to the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction was premised on a misunderstanding of regulatory terms, on an unsupported reading of a duty to consider cumulative effects under the Endangered Species Act,and on selected portions of the record taken out of context. The district court's decision was therefore affirmed.
 
Conservation Force v. Salazar   699 F.3d 538 (D.C. Cir. 2012)   After waiting nine years for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to take action on a permit that would allow the Conservation Force and other individuals to import Canadian wood bison as hunting trophies, the Conservation Force brought a suit against the U.S. Department of Interior and the USFWS for violating the Endangered Species Act. However, once the complaint was filed, the USFWS denied the permit; after this action, the district court dismissed the Conservation Force’s case as moot. Plaintiffs then sought to recover attorney fees and costs, but were denied recovery by the district court. On appeal by Plaintiffs, the Court held that since the USFWS delay in processing the permit was not a non-discretionary, statutory duty, as required to recover attorney fees and costs, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision.  
Conservation Force v. Salazar   715 F.Supp.2d 99 (D.D.C., 2010)   Plaintiffs to this suit — organizations and individuals that support sustainable hunting of the Canadian Wood Bison — alleged that the Secretary of the Department of Interior violated several provisions of the ESA in his treatment of that species. Specifically, Plaintiffs contend that the Secretary failed to: (1) make a twelve-month finding as to the status of the Canadian Wood Bison upon petition and (2) process Plaintiffs’ applications to import bison hunting trophies. In granting the Defendant's motion to dismiss, the court found that Plaintiffs’ intent to sue letter did not specify to the Secretary that they intended to challenge his subsequent failure to issue a twelve-month finding. Since Plaintiffs gave the Secretary inadequate opportunity to review his actions and take corrective measures, the claim was dismissed. Plaintiffs — four individuals who each successfully hunted a Wood Bison in Canada — sought declaratory judgment against the Service under the ESA for failure to process their applications to import bison trophies. The court also held that the request for declaratory judgment was moot where Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that they ever intended to again apply for import permits.  
Conservation Force, Inc. v. Jewell   --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 4417452 (D.C. Cir. 2013)   Appellants’ claims that the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s violated the Endangered Species Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and due process rights in regards to the markhor goat were rendered moot due to subsequent agency action. The claim that the USFWS had an ongoing pattern and practice of neglecting to process permits was also dismissed dues to issues of ripeness and standing. The case was remanded to district court with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and was vacated in regards to the portions of the district court's order raised in this appeal.  
Coos County Bd. of County Com'rs v. Norton   Slip Copy, 2006 WL 1720496 (D.Or.)   Alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), plaintiffs sought to compel defendants to publish in the Federal Register proposed and final rules to remove the Washington, Oregon and California population of the marbled murrelet (a coastal bird) from the list of threatened species. Plaintiffs alleged that after defendants completed a five year review of the murrelet, defendants violated the ESA and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to publish proposed and final rules "delisting" the murrelet. However, the court found that under the subsection upon which plaintiffs rely, the Secretary need publish a proposed regulation only after receiving a petition to add or remove species from the lists of threatened and endangered species and making certain findings. Because plaintiffs have not alleged or demonstrated that they filed a petition, they cannot establish that the Secretary has a duty to publish a proposed regulation. Thus, defendant's motion to dismiss was granted.  
Coos County Board of County Com'rs v. Kempthorne   531 F.3d 792 (9th Cir., 2008)   The issue here is whether FWS has an enforceable duty promptly to withdraw a threatened species from the protections of the ESA after a five-year agency review mandated by the Act found that the species does not fit into a protected population category. The species at issue here are murrelets-small, dove-sized birds that feed primarily on sea life and nest in coastal mature and old-growth forests. This Court concluded that Coos County has not alleged a failure to perform a nondiscretionary act or duty imposed by the ESA, whether premised on the petition process deadlines or on the agency's more general duty to act on its own determinations.  
Defenders of Wildlife v. Hall   565 F.Supp.2d 1160 (D. Mont. 2008)  

Several wildlife organizations challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's designation and delisting of the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act.  This decision involved a motion for preliminary injunction.   The court found that the plaintiffs had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and the organizations and wolves would likely suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction.  Thus, the motion for preliminary injunction was granted.

 
Defenders of Wildlife v. Hall   807 F.Supp.2d 972 (D.Mont., 2011)  

Several wildlife organizations filed suit to challenge the FWS's Final Rule delisting the gray wolf Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment.  The case was put on hold pending the outcome of several other legal battles regarding the wolf's status on the Endangered Species List, during which gray wolf protections were reinstated.  Then, after Congress passed the 2011 fiscal year budget which contained a provision requiring the FWS to delist the Northern Rocky Mountain DPS, the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

 
Defenders of Wildlife v. Hall   565 F.Supp.2d 1160 (D.Mont., 2008)  

The case concerns the delisting of the wolf from the Endangered Species list that occurred in March of 2008. Plaintiffs-Defenders of Wildlife moved for a preliminary injunction, asking the Court to reinstate ESA protections for the wolf. Specifically, plaintiffs argue that even though the Fish & Wildlife Service’s (“Service”) original environmental impact statement (EIS) on wolf reintroduction conditioned the delisting on a finding of genetic exchange between populations, and there is no evidence that such exchange has occurred. Further, the Service approved Wyoming's 2007 wolf management plan even though the Wyoming plan still contains provisions that the Service previously found inadequate. On the whole, the court found that plaintiffs demonstrated a possibility of irreparable harm and granted plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction. As a result, the Endangered Species Act protections were reinstated for the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf pending final resolution of this matter on the merits.

 
Defenders of Wildlife v. Kempthorne   2006 WL 2844232   Ten non-profit groups sued the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) alleging that the FWS had not adequately explained why the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Southern Rockies were not a significant area of lynx habitat under the Endangered Species Act, as the FWS had previously been ordered by the court to do. Additionally, the non-profit groups claimed that the FWS had violated Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by passing regulations which made it easier for federal agencies to thin trees in lynx habitat under the Healthy Forest Initiative. The Court ordered the FWS to explain why the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Southern Rockies were not a significant area of lynx habitat, but found that the challenged regulations making it easier to thin trees in lynx habitat were permissible.  
Defenders of Wildlife v. Norton   239 F.Supp.2d 9 (D.D.C. 2002)   Plaintiffs, twelve conservation organizations and one individual involved in Lynx conservation efforts, challenge a final decision by the USFWS declaring the Lynx in the contiguous United States to be a "threatened," rather than "endangered," species under the Endangered Species Act.  Plaintiffs allege that the designation of the Lynx as threatened is "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law," in violation of § 706(2)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act and that the Service has violated the ESA by failing to designate "critical habitat" for the Lynx as required by that statute.  The Court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs, finding that the FWS's conclusion that, "[c]ollectively, the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Southern Rockies do not constitute a significant portion of the range of the DPS," (three of the Lynx's four regions) were collectively not a significant portion of its range was counterintuitive and contrary to the plain meaning of the ESA phrase "significant portion of its range."  With regard to the FWS's failure to designate critical habitat, the excessive delays experienced by the FWS ran completely counter to the mandate of the ESA and were without proper justification.   
Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar   776 F.Supp.2d 1178 (D.Mont., 2011)   The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 2009 Final Rule unlawfully delisted wolves in Idaho and Montana from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Rule was vacated. The Court held that it had no authority to decide that it would be more equitable to ignore Congress' instruction on how an endangered species must be protected so that the wolves could be taken under the states' management plans. In addition, the Court held that it was inappropriate for the Court to approve a settlement at the expense of the Non–Settling Litigants' legal interests.  
Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar   729 F.Supp.2d 1207 (D.Mont.,2010)  

In February of 2008, Defendant, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the "Service"), issued a final ruling to delist the Rocky Mountain gray wolf species, removing the ESA’s protections throughout the northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment ("DPS"), except in Wyoming. Twelve parties challenged the final ruling, arguing, foremost, that the decision violates the ESA by only partially protecting a listed population. The United States District Court for the District of Montana issued two findings: (1) the ESA does not allow the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list only part of a species as endangered, or to protect a listed distinct population segment only in part; and (2) the legislative history of the ESA does not support the Service’s interpretation of the phrase "significant portion of its range," but instead supports the long-standing view that the ESA does not allow a distinct population to be subdivided. Accordingly, the Service’s ruling to delist the Rocky Mountain gray wolf was vacated as invalid and Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was granted.

 
Defenders of Wildlife v. Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior   354 F.Supp.2d 1156(D. Or. 2005)   Plaintiffs challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) "downlisting" of the gray wolf from endangered to threatened status through publication of its Final Rule.  The Final Rule delists the gray wolf in 14 southeastern states based on "listing error" because that region was not part of the gray wolf's historical range.  The court held that the FWS's extension of boundaries of only DPSs in which gray wolf populations had achieved recovery goals to encompass wolf's entire historical range was arbitrary and capricious.  FWS's downlisting of entire DPSs, without analyzing threats to the gray wolf outside of its current range, was inconsistent with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and thus was arbitrary and capricious.   
Defenders of Wildlife v. Tuggle   607 F.Supp.2d 1095 (D.Ariz.,2009)   In this case, the Plaintiffs, WildEarth Guardians and the Rewilding Institute (Guardians) and the Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders) challenged procedures for wolf control actions as part of the Mexican wolf reintroduction project within the Blue Range Recovery Area (BRWRA) by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Plaintiffs claims centered on NEPA and ESA violations based on USFWS' adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003(MOU) and issuance of Standard Operating Procedure 13 (SOP). USFWS filed motions to dismiss these claims for lack of jurisdiction because they argued that neither the MOU nor SOP 13 was a final agency action. Here, the rights and responsibilities of the interested parties were spelled out in the 2003 MOU and SOP 13, similar to if USFWS had issued an interpretive rule covering wolf control measures. Thus, the Court found that the 2003 MOU and SOP 13 "mark the consummation of the agency's decisionmaking process in respect to wolf control measures." The Court also found that the plaintiffs presented duplicate claims under the ESA and APA. USFWS's motion to dismiss was also denied as were the duplicative claims.  
Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   420 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2005)    

Several public interest groups brought actions challenging Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to transfer Clean Water Act (CWA) pollution permitting program for Arizona to that State.  Under federal law, a state may take over the Clean Water Act pollution permitting program in its state from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if it applies to do so and meets the applicable standards.  When deciding whether to transfer permitting authority, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued, and the EPA relied on, a Biological Opinion premised on the proposition that the EPA lacked the authority to take into account the impact of that decision on endangered species and their habitat.  The plaintiffs in this case challenge the EPA's transfer decision, particularly its reliance on the Biological Opinion's proposition regarding the EPA's limited authority.  The court held that the EPA did have the authority to consider jeopardy to listed species in making the transfer decision, and erred in determining otherwise. For that reason among others, the EPA's decision was arbitrary and capricious. Accordingly, the court granted the petition and remanded to the EPA.

 
Dehart v. Town of Austin   39 F.3d 718 (7th Cir. 1994)   The breeder was in the business of buying, breeding, raising, and selling of exotic and wild animals. The town passed an ordinance making it unlawful to keep certain wild animals, and the breeder filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a local ordinance.  On appeal, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the town because: (1) the ordinance was not preempted by the Animal Welfare Act; (2) the ordinance was not an impermissible attempt to regulate interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause; and (3) the town did not deprive him of his property interest in his federal and state licenses without due process.  
Feld Entertainment, Inc. v. A.S.P.C.A.   523 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C., 2007)   Pending before the Court is Defendant American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, et al.'s (“ASPCA”) Motion to Temporarily Stay All Proceedings. The suit arises from Feld Entertainment, Inc. (“FEI”) claim against the ASPCA and other defendants, including Tom Rider, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). The gravamen of plaintiff's complaint is that defendant Tom Rider has been bribed by the organizational defendants to participate in the ESA Action against FEI in violation of federal law. The court agreed that the public interest in the ESA claim weighs in favor of granting the temporary stay.  
Florida Home Builders Ass'n v. Norton   496 F.Supp.2d 1330 (M.D.Fla., 2007)   The plaintiffs charge in that the Secretary of the Interior, in contravention of statutory duty, has failed to conduct the nondiscretionary, five-year status reviews of species listed as endangered or threatened in the Federal Register. Plaintiff seeks an order declaring that Defendants have violated the Endangered Species Act and that the failure to conduct the status reviews constitutes agency action “unlawfully withheld” in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Defendants argue that their failure to conduct the mandatory status reviews is not an agency action that is reviewable under the APA. Defendants therefore assert that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's suit to compel agency action to the extent that it arises under the APA. Although not addressed by Defendants and although there is little authority on the issue, Defendants' failure to comply with a mandatory duty falls within the first category of actions reviewable under the APA as an agency action, or inaction, “made reviewable by statute” because the ESA explicitly “provides a private right of action." Defendants assert that budgetary and resource constraints precluded the Secretary from fulfilling the obligation imposed by Congress. However, the court stated that defendants ". . . should take up such constraints with Congress rather than let mandatory deadlines expire with inaction."  
Florida Key Deer v. Paulison   522 F.3d 1133 (C.A.11(Fla.), 2008)   FEMA, under the National Flood Insurance Program, issues insurance to promote new development in flooded areas.  Plaintiffs sought to compel FEMA to enter into ESA consultation with FWS, and once that consultation occurred, amended their complaint to challenge the sufficiency of the FWS' biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternatives.  The Eleventh Circuit held for the plaintiffs, reasoning that FEMA had not sufficiently complied with the obligation on federal agencies to carry out their programs consistent with the conservation of endangered and threatened species.  
Florida Marine Contractors v. Williams   378 F.Supp.2d 1353 (M.D. Fla., 2005)   The Florida Marine Contractors Association applied for permits to build recreational docks on Florida's inland waterways.  The permit requests were denied due to danger to the West Indian Manatees that live in the waterways.  The Florida Marine Contractors Association challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's permit denials on the basis that the Marine Mammal Protection Act does not apply to residential docks.  Summary judgment was granted in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   
Forest Conservation Council v. Rosboro Lumber Co.   50 F.3d 781 (C.A.9 (Or.),1995)  
In this case, an environmental group filed a citizen suit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) seeking an injunction to prevent modification of the habitat of a pair of spotted owls by defendant-logging company. The United States District Court for the District of Oregon entered summary judgment for the logging company. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded. The Court found the issue on appeal is whether the district court correctly interpreted the ESA to foreclose citizen suits that only allege a future injury to a protected species. The Court held that the ESA's language, purpose, and structure authorize citizens to seek an injunction against an imminent threat of harm to a protected species. The proposed clear-cutting logging activity was imminent and reasonably certain to injure the owl pair by significantly impairing their essential behavioral patterns.
 
Forest Guardians v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   611 F.3d 692 (C.A.10 (N.M.), 2010)   Appellant, Forest Guardians, contend on appeal that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated section 10(j) of the ESA by releasing captive-bred Falcons within an area not wholly separated geographically from an already-existing Falcon population. Forest Guardians aver that the FWS violated the NEPA by deciding to release the captive-bred Falcons before taking the requisite "hard look" at the environmental impact of its decision. Regarding Forest Guardians’ challenge of section 10(j) of the ESA, the court held that the FWS’s release of the captive-bred Falcons did not violate the Act. Forest Guardians’ contention that New Mexico, the location of the experimental release, already quartered an existing population was unpersuasive. The court further rejected Forest Guardian’s second contention that the FWS violated the NEPA by failing to adequately review its proposed action.  
Friends of Animals v. Salazar   690 F.Supp.2d 1162 (D.D.C.,2010)   Friends of Animals (FOA), an animal advocacy group, brought an action against the Secretary of the Interior, et al, (Defendants) under the Endangered Species Act seeking declaratory and injunctive relief by claiming that the Secretary failed to make statutory 90-day and 12-month findings related to the petition to have 13 species of birds listed as threatened or endangered. The Court found that FOA's claim that Defendants failed to make a 90-day finding on its endangered-species petition was moot, and its claim that Defendants failed to meet the 12-month deadline provided by the ESA had to be dismissed due to FOA's failure to provide Defendants with proper notice. The Court did find, however, that FOA's lawsuit was the catalyst prompting Defendants to ultimately issue a 90-day finding as required. Thus, the Court here considers FOA's motion for attorneys' fees and costs. The Court held that FOA could recover fees for work on the notice letter, complaint, and petition for fees to the extent it related to the claim that prompted the 90-day finding. However, the court reduced the amount of time spent on the complaint by fifty percent.  
Friends of Animals v. Salazar   670 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C., 2009)   Friends of Animals (“FOA”) filed a Complaint against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the ESA and APA seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. At issue is the petition FOA filed with the FWS in January 2008 to list thirteen species of foreign macaws, parrots and cockatoos as threatened or endangered due to the caged pet bird trade. In July 2009, FWS placed on public inspection at the Federal Register its 90-Day Finding for the Thirteen Species and also moved to dismiss FOA's lawsuit as moot. While the Court held that FOA's substantive claims must be dismissed, it considered FOA's argument that an award of fees and costs is appropriate here because its suit served as the “catalyst” for FWS's subsequent remedial actions. The Court allowed FOA to file a motion for fees and costs and defendants to respond to such motion.  
Friends of Animals v. Salazar   626 F.Supp.2d 102 (D.D.C.,2009)   Plaintiffs brought an action against the Department of Interior and the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of Interior (“Defendants”) alleging that Defendants unlawfully promulgated a rule (the “Rule”) under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) exempting three endangered antelope species from the import, take and other prohibitions under the ESA.  On the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment, the United States District Court, District of Columbia granted Defendants’ motion in part and denied Defendants’ motion in part, finding Plaintiffs lack representational standing with respect to wild antelope and antelope in captivity, but have organizational standing under Section 10(c) of the ESA.  The Court granted Plaintiffs motion with respect to their Section 10(c) claim, finding that the promulgated rule violates Section 10(c) of the ESA.  
Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar   691 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2012)   In 1985, after scientists had found only 10 living squirrels, the Virginia northern flying squirrel was listed as endangered under the ESA. In 2006, after scientists had captured 1,063 squirrels, the FWS went through the procedure to delist the squirrel. Friends of Blackwater filed a complaint against the Secretary of Interior in district court, challenging the Secretary's rule to delist the squirrel. Subsequently, the Secretary of Interior appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment. The D.C. circuit court of appeals reversed the district court's decision, holding that the Secretary's determination the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel was no longer endangered was neither arbitrary and capricious nor in violation of the Act.  
Fund for Animals, Inc. v. Hogan   428 F.3d 1059 (D.C. Cir. 2005)   The Fund for Animals petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list as endangered the trumpeter swans living in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  The Fish and Wildlife Service denied the petition without giving a good explanation why, so the Fund for Animals sued.  The court found that because the Fish and Wildlife Service had subsequently provided a letter finding that the swans were not "markedly separated from other populations" and were part of the Rocky Mountain population, which was growing in numbers, the FWS had provided a sufficient explanation and the case against it was therefore moot.   
Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S.   378 F.3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2004)   This is a record review case in which the Appellants, an assortment of environmental organizations, challenge six biological opinions (BiOps) issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The BiOps in question allowed for timber harvests in specified Northwest forests and also authorized incidental "takes" of the Northern spotted owl, a threatened species under the ESA.  With regard to appellants' challenge of the jeopardy analysis under the ESA, the court concluded that the jeopardy analysis conducted by the FWS in the six BiOps at issue in this case was permissible and within the agency's discretion.  However, the critical habitat analysis in the six BiOps was fatally flawed because it relied on an unlawful regulatory definition of "adverse modification."  The Court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded the case to the district court to grant summary judgment to the Petitioners on the critical habitat inquiry.  
Gordon v. Norton   322 F.3d 1213 (10th Cir. 2003)   Appellants Stephen Gordon and the Diamond G Ranch, Inc. challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service's control of gray wolves introduced under the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan near the Diamond G in the Dunoir Valley of northwestern Wyoming. Seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, they filed this action in federal district court alleging violations of the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause and the regulations promulgated under the Endangered Species Act. The district court dismissed the takings claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and the ESA claims as not yet ripe for review. This court affirmed the lower court.  
Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Inc. v. Servheen   665 F.3d 1015 (C.A.9 (Mont.), 2011)   Coalition sued for a review of a United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) final rule to remove grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) threatened species list. The Court of Appeals held that there was no rational connection between data that showed a relationship between pine seed shortages, increased bear mortality, and decreased female reproductive success and FWS’ conclusion that whitebark pine declines were not likely to threaten grizzly bears. FWS could reasonably conclude that National Forest Plans and National Park Compendia (Plans) provided adequate regulatory mechanisms to protect grizzlies as recovered species. The portion of the District Court's ruling vacating the Final Rule was affirmed.  
Hawaiian Crow (‘Alala) v. Lujan   906 F.Supp. 549 (D.Hawai‘i,1991)  

Defendants (USFWS and rancher owners) filed a motion to dismiss the 'Alala bird and strike its name from the plaintiffs' complaint as well a motion for Rule 11 sanctions. The District Court held that, as a matter of first impression, the endangered 'Alala bird was not a 'person' within the meaning of the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) citizen suit provision. However, the Court declined to impose Rule 11 sanctions on the ground that plaintiffs' counsel acted improperly in filing a complaint that named the ‘Alala  as a party, finding that there is no evidence plaintiffs named the ‘Alala for an improper purpose. Defendant's motion for a more definite statement was granted to provide greater specificity to pinpoint those areas within the essential habitat locations that may be affected.

 
Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Bryson   --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2013 WL 595092 (D.Or., 2013)   In order to manage sea lion predation of salmonids at the Bonneville Dam, the NMFS decided to authorize agencies from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to lethally remove sea lions that were not protected by the ESA when efforts to deter their feeding on salmonids failed. The Humane Society of the United States, Wild Fish Conservancy, Bethanie O'Driscoll, and Andrea Kozil disagreed and sued the NMFS; the agencies of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho intervened. Finding that the NMFS’s authorizations did not conflict with the MMPA’s protection of Stella Sea Lions, that the NMFS complied with the National Environmental Protection Act, and that the NMFS did not act arbitrarily and capriciously when it issued the authorizations, the district court granted the NMFS’s and the state agencies’ cross motion for summary judgment. The case was therefore dismissed.  
Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Dirk Kempthorne   527 F.3d 181 (D.C. Cir., 2008)  

The Humane Society of the United States sought an injunction to prevent the lethal depredation of gray wolves. The district court granted the injunction but, while the case was on appeal, the United States Department of the Interior removed the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.  After the gray wolf was removed from the Endangered Species List, all parties agreed that the delisting of the gray wolf rendered the appeal moot.  The Court of Appeals vacated the district court's ruling.

 
Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Kempthorne   579 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C., 2008)   Environmental groups brought challenge under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against a Rule promulgated by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designating a particular geographic group of gray wolves as a “distinct population segment” (DPS) and removing the particular group from the endangered species list. The United States District Court, District of Columbia, held that the ESA is ambiguous with respect to whether the ESA permits FWS to use the DPS tool to remove ESA protections from a healthy sub-population of a listed species, and that the FWS rule was not entitled to Chevron deference, because the plain meaning of the statute is silent and/or ambiguous as to the particular issue at hand and there is no permissible agency construction to which the Court could defer. Lastly, the Court found that vacatur of the FWS Rule prior to remand was appropriate, because of the FWS’ failure to explain how its interpretation of the ESA comported with the policy objectives of the ESA, and because vacatur would result in very little to no confusion or inefficiency.  
Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Locke   626 F.3d 1040 (C.A.9 (Or.),2010)   The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) authorized several states to kill California sea lions under section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which allows the intentional lethal taking of individually identifiable pinnipeds. Plaintiffs filed action for declaratory and injunctive relief against Defendants. The Court held that NMFS 1) did not adequately explain its finding that sea lions were having a “significant negative impact” on the decline or recovery of listed salmonid populations; and 2) NMFS did not adequately explain why a California sea lion predation rate of 1 percent would have a significant negative impact on the decline or recovery of these salmonid populations. Therefore, the agency's action was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” under the Administrative Procedure Act.  
Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorne   579 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C. 2008)   Environmental and wildlife organizations brought challenge under the Endangered Species Act [ESA] against a final rule promulgated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS] designating the Western Great Lakes distinct population segment of gray wolves and simultaneously delisting it from the ESA.  The court vacated and remanded the Rule to the Fish and Wildlife Service because the ESA was ambiguous about whether it authorized the FWS to simultaneously designate and delist a distinct population segment.  There was no Chevron deference due.  
Humane Society v. Merriam   2007 WL 333309 (D.Minn.)   Minnesota allowed trapping and snaring activities. Plaintiffs sued the state, arguing that this policy was causing the death of some endangered Canada lynx, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The plaintiffs and defendants had the case dismissed after they agreed that Minnesota would seek a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act, and that conservation measures would be taken for the protection of the lynx.  
In Defense of Animals v. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo   785 F.Supp. 100 (N.D. Ohio, 1991)   This case involves a challenge by several organizations to the proposed move of Timmy, a lowland gorilla, from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to the Bronx Zoo in New York for the purposes of mating Timmy with female gorillas at the Bronx Zoo. Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on October 25, 1991, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, and moved for a temporary restraining order.  The District Court held that the claim was preempted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and that plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the ESA.  Further, the court held that plaintiffs had no private cause of action under the AWA.   
In re Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline Litigation-MDL No. 2165   --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 45871 (D.C. Cir. Ct. App.,2013)   After parties in a lawsuit over listing species as endangered or threatened agreed upon a settlement, the Safari Club motioned to intervene because the settlement might affect three species that the club's members hunt. The district court denied the motion to intervene as of right because the club lacked Article III standing and denied a permissive intervention because it would cause undue delay and prejudice to the parties; the court then approved the settlement and the club appealed. The appeals court affirmed the lower court's decision that the club lacked Article III standing for intervening as of right. The appeals court, however, in view of uncertainty whether Article III standing was required for permissive intervention, declined to exercise pendant appellate jurisdiction over the permissive intervention appeal.  
In re Polar Bear Endangered Species Act Listing and Section 4(d) Rule Litigation-MDL No.1993 United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.   --- F.3d ----, 2013 WL 2991027 (D.C. Cir. 2013)   Hunters and hunting organizations sued the Secretary of Interior, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Service itself after the Service listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and barred the importation of polar bear trophies under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). On appeal, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant the defendants' motion of summary judgment.  
In re Polar Bear Endangered Species Act Listing and § 4(d) Rule Litigation   627 F.Supp.2d 16 (D.D.C.,2009)  

Plaintiffs Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation brought this action under the APA challenging the FWS's legal determination that the listing of the Polar Bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act was a final agency action. At issue here is defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the grounds that plaintiffs fail to challenge a final agency action as required for judicial review under the APA. Alternatively, defendants argue that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this action. This Court found that the action challenged by SCI and SCIF is final agency action for purposes of judicial review pursuant to the APA. On the issue of standing, defendants argue that plaintiffs' suit must be dismissed for lack of standing because plaintiffs have not alleged facts to establish that they have suffered an injury-in-fact. The court disagreed, finding that the plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded that the “procedures in question” threaten a “concrete interest" - an interest in conservation that is impacted by the import ban. Defendants Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings was denied.

 
Joy Road Area Forest and Watershed Association v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection   47 Cal.Rptr.3d 846 (2006)   The California Department of Forestry approved a developer's Timber Harvest Plan of cutting trees down to build a housing development. The court found that The California Department of Forestry abused its discretion by approving the Timber Harvest Plan because it had not given the public sufficient information about the plan, including the impact on the Northern Spotted Owl before approving it, and because the Timber Harvest Plan did not adequately address the issue of how the plan would affect water quality in the area.  
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife   504 U.S. 555 (1992)   Respondents filed suit challenging the new regulation under the ESA that limited the jurisdiction to the U.S. and the high seas.  While the case, was remanded the central issue to this case was whether respondents had standing to challenge the ruling.  
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. U.S.   697 F.Supp.2d 1324 (S.D.Fla., 2010)  

This case examines the requirements surrounding the issuance of an Incidental Take Statement (ITS), a statement that authorizes harm to an endangered species, but that must include a trigger for reviewing the decision (known as “re-consultation”) at the point when there is a risk of jeopardizing the species. The trigger must be a numerical trigger describing the “take” (e.g., the capturing or killing of members of an endangered species) in terms of specific population data unless it is impractical to do so.  Specifically, this case explores whether the Army Corps of Engineers and FTS were able to use an ecological surrogate in place of a numerical trigger in an ITS that was promulgated in the process of conservation work in the Everglades.  This conservation work involved manipulating water levels in the Everglades and impacted the viability of three species protected under the Endangered Species Act (the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, the Everglade snail kite, and the wood stork), as well as the well-being of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians.

 
Midcoast Fishermen's Ass'n v. Gutierrez   592 F.Supp.2d 40 (D.D.C.,2008)   Plaintiffs filed suit seeking review of the Department of Commerce’s (the “Agency”) decision to deny their petition for emergency action to address continued overfishing in the Northeastern multispecies fisheries by excluding midwater trawl vessels from groundfish closed areas.  After the administrative record was filed, and the Agency certified that it was the administrative record for the decision, Plaintiffs moved to compel completion of the administrative record.  The United States District Court, District of Columbia denied Plaintiffs’ motion, finding that Plaintiffs failed to show that the Agency blatantly ignored specific readily available information, the fact that the Agency based its decision on data from a two year chronological time span did not render the record incomplete, supplementing the record with bycatch data from an earlier time period would not provide any background information useful to the resolution of the case, and that the record contained sufficient information to allow the Court to determine what process the Agency followed in making its decision.  
Moden v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife   2008 WL 4763025 (D.Or.)  

Plaintiffs filed claim against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) alleging arbitrary and capricious agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and failure to perform a nondiscretionary act under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  The United States District Court, D. Oregon, granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss and denied Plaintiffs’ request for leave to amend, and Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, finding  that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ APA and ESA claims, and that it remains without jurisdiction to mandate action by the agency if rulemaking has not been initiated by the FWS at its discretion, regardless of whether a determination resulting from a five year review suggests a listing status should be changed or should remain the same.

 
Modesto Irr. Dist. v. Gutierrez   619 F.3d 1024 (C.A.9 (Cal.), 2010)   Plaintiffs, Modesto Irrigation District and other irrigation and water districts, contended that, in listing the steelhead—a type of Pacific salmon—as "threatened" under the ESA, the National Marine Fisheries Service violated both the ESA and APA. More specifically, Plaintiffs averred that listing the steelhead as a distinct species under the ESA violated the Act because the steelhead and rainbow trout interbreed. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and affirmed the ruling of the District Court. The court noted that while the steelhead and rainbow trout do interbreed, Congress, in enacting the ESA, did not intend to create a rigid limitation on an agency’s discretion to define the "statutorily undefined concept" of a "distinct population segment" ("DPS").  
National Audubon Society, Inc. v. Davis   312 F.3d 416 (9th Cir. 2002)  

This order accompanies the Ninth Circuit's decision in National Audubon v. Davis, 307 F.3d 835 (9th Cir. 2002).

 
National Wildlife Federation v. Norton   386 F.Supp.2d 553 (D. Vt. 2005)   Conservation groups brought action against Final Rule promulgated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify the gray wolf from endangered to threatened in most of the United States.  The Rule created Eastern and Western Distinct Population segment and simultaneously downlisted them from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act [ESA].  The Final Rule deviated significantly from the Proposed Rule and thus failed to provide adequate notice and opportunity for comment to the public, and the court also found the Final Rule an arbitrary and capricious application of the ESA.  
Natural Resources Defense Council v. Evans   232 F. Supp. 2d 1003 (N.D. Cal. 2002)   Plaintiffs, various environmental organizations and a concerned individual, sought a preliminary injunction against federal officials to prevent the United States Navy's peacetime use of a low frequency sonar system for training, testing and routine operations. The defendants temporarily enjoined from deploying Low Frequency Active Sonar until a carefully tailored preliminary injunction can be issued which would permit the use of Low Frequency Active Sonar for testing and training in a variety of ocean conditions, but would provide additional safeguards to reduce the risk to marine mammals and endangered species.  
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. National Marine Fisheries Service   409 F.Supp.2d 379 (S.D.N.Y.2006)   The Natural Resources Defense Council sought material from the National Marine Fisheries Service about an incident of mass stranding of whales under the Freedom of Information Act because the Council thought it had to do with navy sonar use. The Service did not want to release the materials, saying they were protected from disclosure because they were discussions of agency decision-making. The court required disclosure of most of the materials because purely factual matters are not protected from disclosure.  
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   475 F.3d 1136 (9th Cir. 2007)   The Endangered Species Act protects not just species, but also "distinct population segments" of species. The Fish and Wildlife Service refused to list the Western Gray Squirrel as endangered in Washington State, even though its numbers are low there, because it determined that the squirrels in Washington are not significant to the species as a whole. The court upheld this decision.  
Ocean Mammal Inst. v. Gates   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 2185180 (D.Hawai'i)   Plaintiffs sued the Navy over the use of sonar; the Plaintiffs feared that the sonar would kill whales and other marine life.  This case dealt with the required production of documents the Defendant claimed were privileged and or work product material.  The Court found that the Defendant must hand over the material to the Plaintiffs because the documents were not in fact privileged.  
Oceana, Inc. v. Gutierrez   488 F.3d 1020 (C.A.D.C., 2007)   This federal appeal concerns regulations issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2004 for leatherback sea turtles. The leatherbacks experience mortality due to long-line fishing in the pelagic ocean after they become entangled or hooked on the lines. In 2001, the Service issued an RFA - reasonable and prudent alternative - to long-line fishing operations in the pelagic ocean off the coast of New Jersey where operators could replace the industry-wide standard J-hook with circle hooks which would reduce mortality. Oceana claim is that the Fisheries Service acted arbitrarily when it predicted that the measures it was putting in place would result in a 13.1 percent mortality rate by 2007 for leatherbacks caught in longlines. The Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that the Service's judgment was not arbitrary or capricious when it predicted that fishing operators could achieve a 13.1 post-release mortality rate.   
Oregon Natural Desert Ass'n v. Kimbell   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4186913 (D.Or.)  

After filing a complaint challenging certain decisions by the United States Forest Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service authorizing livestock grazing within a national forest, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction seeking an order prohibiting the authorization of livestock grazing on certain public lands until Plaintiffs’ claims could be heard on the merits.  The United States District Court, D. Oregon granted Plaintiffs’ motion, finding that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of at least one of its claims, and that Plaintiffs made a sufficient showing that irreparable harm would likely occur if the relief sought is not granted. 

 
Palila v. Hawaii Dep't of Land & Natural Resources   639 F.2d 495 (9th Cir. 1981)   The action alleged that defendants, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and chairman, violated the Endangered Species Act by maintaining feral sheep and goats in an endangered bird's critical habitat. Defendant had maintained feral sheep and goats within the critical habitat of the endangered palila bird. The practice degraded the bird's habitat. The court upheld summary judgment for the plaintiff, finding that maintenance of the herd constituted a taking under the Act.  
Palila v. Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources   Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2013 WL 1442485 (D.Hawai'i)   Fearing potential prosecution under a county ordinance and a state statute for carrying out a Stipulated Order that protects an endangered species (the Palila), defendants, joined substantially by the plaintiffs, sought a motion for declaratory and injunctive relief. The district court granted the defendants’ motion because federal law, the Stipulated Order, preempted both state and county law. The court therefore stated that so long as defendants, or their duly-appointed agents, were acting to enforce the specific terms of the Stipulated Order, they may conduct an aerial sighting over the Palila's critical habitat and shoot any ungulates sighted in that area without fear of violating (1) Hawaii County Code §§ 14–111, –112, & 1–10(a); or (2) HRS § 263–10.  
Pulaski v. Chrisman   2005 WL 81919 (Cal. 2005)   Residents of a mobile home park attempted to get injunction preventing the conversion of their mobile home park into a community campground.  Plaintiffs claimed violation of the Endangered Species Act due to the possible removal of endangered species during the renovation.  The court held it did not have jurisdiction to entertain part of plaintiffs Endangered Species claim because of a procedural violation and that plaintiffs failed to show violation of the Endangered Species Act was likely on the remainder of their claims.   
Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Albany   56 A.D.3d 32, 865 N.Y.S.2d 365 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.,2008)  

An Organization dedicated to the protection of the Karner Blue Butterfly and other species that live in an area of land used as a nature preserve brought challenge against the City Common Council’s; (“Council”) approval of a Developer’s rezoning application for the land.  The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York, held that the Organization had standing to bring suit, because the Organization showed the existence of an actual injury different from that of the general public, due to the Organization’s regular use of the preserve, at least one member’s nearby residency to the preserve, and the Organization’s historic involvement in the protection and preservation of the preserve. (2010 - Order Reversed by Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Albany, 13 N.Y.3d 297, 918 N.E.2d 917, 890 N.Y.S.2d 405, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 07667 (N.Y. Oct 27, 2009) (NO. 134)). 

 
Seiber v. U.S.   364 F.3rd 1356, 34 Envtl L. Rep. 20,026  

Owners of commercial timberland designated as northern spotted owl nesting habitat brought suit against the United States, alleging that the land was temporarily taken when the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) denied their application to cut timber on the property which had been considered critical habitat for the endangered species. The appeals court upheld the lower court and held that no adquate claim for a "takings" was made.

 
Sierra Club v. California American Water Co.   Slip Copy, 2010 WL 135183 (N.D.Cal.,2010)  

The Sierra Club and the Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA) brought suit against the California American Water Company (CAW), a water and wastewater utility, seeking injunctive relief and alleging that the company was wrongfully diverting water from the Carmel River and causing harm to the South Central California Coast Steelhead fish (steelhead), an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  CAW moved to dismiss the action, arguing that the Court must dismiss the action under the Younger abstention doctrine because hearing the Plaintiffs' claim would interfere with ongoing state judicial proceedings.  At the time that the Sierra Club and CRSA brought suit, CAW was involved in ongoing proceedings with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), which maintains original jurisdiction over the appropriation of surface waters within the state.  The Court found that the Younger abstention applied and dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. 

 
Sierra Club v. Clark   755 F.2d 608 (8th Cir. 1985)  

The Government issued regulations which allowed for the sport hunting of the Eastern Timber Wolf  (otherwise known as the gray wolf) in Minnesota, where the wolf was listed as threatened.  The court held that such regulations were invalid because the Endangered Species Act, Section 4(d) required that such regulations must be "for the conservation" of the wolf, which means for the best interest of the wolf.  The court found that the hunting of the wolf in this manner did not have the motive of the best interest of the wolf in mind.

 
Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2013 WL 1111285 (D.D.C.,2013)   Using the Administrative Procedures Act, the Sierra Club filed a suit against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) due to the USFWS's response to the Sierra Club's petition to revise critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle; the Sierra Club also charged the USFWS with unlawfully delaying the designation of the Northeastern Ecological Corridor of Puerto Rico as critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle. While both sides filed a motion for summary judgment, the District Court only granted the USFWS motion for summary judgment because the USFWS's 12–month determination was unreviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act.  
Stout v. U.S. Forest Service   2011 WL 867775 (2011)   Plaintiff ranch owners grazed cattle within the Murderer's Creek Wild Horse Territory (WHT), an area in which the threatened Middle Columbia River steelhead was present. The Forest Service approved a wild horse management plan in the area, but failed to prepare a Biological Assessment (BA) to determine whether the plan was likely to affect the threatened species, and whether formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was necessary. The Forest Service’s failure to comply with section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was arbitrary and capricious, and was ordered to consult with NMFS on its plan.  
Turtle Island Restoration Project v. U.S. Department of Commerce   438 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2006)  

Environmental Groups sued the National Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the United States Department of Commerce for making regulations which allowed swordfish longline fishing along the Hawaii coast, alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court found that because the regulations were made under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (Magnuson Act), and because that Act had a 30-day time limit for when challenges to regulations could be made, the environmental groups has not brought their challenge to the regulations in time.

 
U.S. v. 3,210 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare   636 F.Supp. 1281 (S.D. Fla. 1986)   The plaintiff, the United States of America, seeks forfeiture of the defendant, 10,870 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare, an endangered species of wildlife (hides) transported from Bolivia to the U.S. in violation of the Lacey Act, among other statutes.  The court found that the testimony concerning the shrinkage of the crocodile hides during tanning did not meet the buren of the claimed owners showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the hides, which were shipped from Bolivia under the size limit imposed by Bolivian law, were not subject to the forfeiture provisions of the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3374(a)(1) (1985).  The provision of the Lacey Act at issue prohibits the interstate or foreign commerce of any wildlife taken in violation of any foreign law.   
U.S. v. Crutchfield   26 F.3d 1098 (11th Cir. 1994)   The court reversed the district court's judgment of convictions against defendants for the illegal importation and the intent to sell iguanas in the United States because of prosecutorial misconduct. The court held that the prosecutor wasted valuable money in pursuing irrelevant testimony, and improperly questioned defendants and their witnesses after repeated warnings from the district court judge.  
U.S. v. Guthrie   50 F.3d 936 (11th Cir. 1995)   The court affirmed the decision of the district court which convicted defendant of violations of the Lacey Act (Act) and the Endangered Species Act. The court held that the Act was not unconstitutional, that defendant was not permitted to collaterally challenge an agency regulation on the grounds of new scientific evidence, and that the Secretary of the Interior's finding that the turtle was a valid species was not arbitrary.  
U.S. v. Kapp   419 F.3d 666 (2005, 7th Cir.(Ill.))   A jury convicted William Kapp for multiple violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act connected with the killing of, and trafficking in, endangered tigers and leopards and their meat, hides, and other parts. On appeal, Kapp claims he is entitled to a new trial because the evidence at trial was insufficient to support the jury's verdict and the district court erroneously admitted certain evidence. Kapp also argues that the manner in which he was sentenced violated the Sixth Amendment. The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict on all counts, and the district court did not err in its evidentiary ruling.  His conviction was, therefore, affirmed, but a limited remand was ordered to determine whether Kapp should be resentenced .  
U.S. v. Lewis   349 F.3d 1116 (9th Cir. 2003)   Defendant was convicted of a number of offenses related to his role in a wildlife smuggling operation. If trial did not begin within the requisite time period and defendant moved for dismissal prior to trial, the court had to dismiss the indictment, either with or without prejudice. The court held that the circumstances in the case, where it was clear that the delay in the trial caused the delay in the hearing, rather than the other way around, and where defendant repeatedly asked the court to set the case for trial and was otherwise ready to proceed to trial, plaintiff United States' pending pretrial motion could not serve as a basis for exclusion for a 117 day period. Because the delay violated the Speedy Trial Act, defendant's convictions had to be reversed, his sentences vacated, and his indictments dismissed.  
U.S. v. Lewis   240 F.3d 866 (10th Cir. 2001)   A jury convicted defendant of one count of violating the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C.S. §§ 3371-3378. The jury found that defendant had violated Oklahoma law by capturing wild elk, holding them captive, and organizing at least one commercial elk hunt, without a license for those activities. The court affirmed. Violation of a state hunting law was an adequate basis for a Lacey Act prosecution. There was sufficient evidence to prove that the Oklahoma statute regarding commercial hunting licenses applied to defendant, and that defendant had knowledge of the statute's requirements.  
U.S. v. Molt   615 F.2d 141 (3rd Cir. 1980)   Defendant was convicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of knowingly importing Fijian reptiles contrary to the Tariff Act and of conspiring to commit such offense. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the evidence was sufficient to sustain finding of knowing importation and of receiving and concealing illegally imported reptiles.  
U.S. v. Molt   631 F.2d 258 (3rd Cir. 1980)   The court affirmed a judgment of sentence entered following defendant's conditional plea of guilty to smuggling and to violating the Lacey Act. The court held that the district court properly denied defendant's Speedy Trial Act motion where defendant incorrectly computed the number of excludable days. Therefore, the court concluded that more than 120 non-excludable days did not elapse between the indictment and the trial.  
U.S. v. Molt   599 F.2d 1217 (3rd Cir. 1979)   Defendants were indicted for conspiracy to smuggle snakes and other reptiles into the United States in violation of the Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 43. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss counts based on alleged violations of the laws of Fiji and of Papua New Guinea, finding that foreign laws and regulations referred to in the statute were designed and intended for the protection of wildlife in those countries. On appeal, the trial court's order dismissing an indictment against defendants for smuggling wildlife was affirmed as to Fiji, where the regulation relied on was a revenue ordinance. The court reversed as to Papua New Guinea where the law was intended to protect wildlife in the country of origin.  
U.S. v. Paluch (unpublished)   84 Fed. Appx. 740 (9th Cir. 2003)   The court first concluded that venue was proper for the smuggling charges and the conspiracy charge. Turning to the convictions, the court found that his convictions of felony conspiracy and smuggling were supported by sufficient evidence. The court rejected his argument that the general smuggling law was inapplicable to the acts for which he was convicted because Congress had separately criminalized this conduct as a misdemeanor under the Endangered Species Act.  
U.S. v. Tierney (Unpublished)   38 Fed. Appx. 424 (9th Cir. 2002) (unpub.)   The district court did not err by denying the defendant's proposed entrapment instruction and that Nev. Admin. Code 504.471 is not unconstitutionally vague. He did not present evidence to support his position on either element. Rather than indicating government inducement or lack of predisposition, the evidence showed that the government merely provided the defendant with an opportunity to sell what he was already ready and willing to sell. The court also found the meaning of "wildlife" under Nevada law was not unconstitutionally vague.  
U.S. v. William   Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4587250 (D.Virgin Islands)   Defendants charged with unlawfully taking an endangered species and unlawfully possessing, carrying and transporting an endangered species within the United States in violation of the Endangered Species Act filed motions to suppress all evidence, including undersized lobsters and a sea turtle seized in connection with their stop and arrest after they had been stopped on suspicion of being illegal immigrants.  The District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix suppressed the evidence, finding that although the approaching police officer had reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was taking place at the time the stop was made, the subsequent confinement of Defendants and search of their vehicle exceeded the limited purpose of the investigative stop.  
United States of America v. Kraft   2005 WL 578313 (U.S., Dist. of Minn. 2005)   A man was charged and convicted for violating the Lacey Act after illegally selling a tiger and grizzly bear.  The trial court admitted the man's conversation into evidence in which he implicated himself in the illegal sale of a grizzly bear.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court holding the man's conversation was not protected by the Sixth Amendment because it was made before there were specific charges against him for the illegal sale of the grizzly bear.  
United States v. McKittrick   142 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 1998)   Defendant McKittrick shot and killed a wolf in Montana.  Defendant claimed that the federal government's importing of wolves from Canada violated the Endangered Species Act because that Act required that imported "experimental populations" had to be "wholly separate" from any other populations of the same species.  McKittrick claimed that because there had been lone wolf sightings in the area before the wolves were brought from Canada to the Yellowstone region, the new population was not "wholly separate" from an existing population.  The court held that the regulations importing the wolves from Canada were valid because a few lone wolves do not constitute a "population", and that therefore defendant was guilty of unlawfully taking a wolf.  
Western Watersheds Project v. Dyer   2009 WL 484438 (D.Idaho)   The plaintiff, Western Watersheds Project (WWP), is an environmental group that brought this lawsuit to ban livestock grazing in certain areas of the Jarbidge Field Office (1.4 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho and northern Nevada). WWP alleges that continued grazing destroys what little habitat remains for imperiled species like the sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, and slickspot peppergrass (deemed “sensitive species” by the BLM).  After ten days of evidentiary hearings, the court found that three sensitive species in the JFO are in serious decline and that livestock grazing is an important factor in that decline. However, the court found that a ban on grazing was not required by law at this point since the Court was "confident" in the BLM's ability to modify the 2009 season in accordance with the Court's interpretation of the existing RMP.  
Western Watersheds Project v. Hall   Slip Copy, 2007 WL 2790404 (D.Idaho)  

Plaintiff Western Watersheds Project filed the instant action challenging the “90-Day Finding” issued by the Defendants United States Fish and Wildlife Service that denied protection of the Interior Mountain Quail as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service determined that the Petition had failed to provide information demonstrating that the Interior Mountain Quail population is discrete under the ESA. The District Court stated that, in order to qualify as a DPS, a population must “be both discrete and significant.” The court found that the Service's conclusion appropriately determined that this discreteness standard was not met and it provided a rational basis for concluding the Petition had failed to provide evidence of a marked separation between the populations of the same taxon.

 
Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink   632 F.3d 472 (9th Cir., 2011)   Plaintiff environmental advocacy organization sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for revisions to nationwide grazing regulations for federal lands. Plaintiff argued that the 2006 Regulations violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The Court of Appeals found for the plaintiff, holding that BLM violated NEPA by failing to take a “hard look” at the environmental consequences of the proposed regulatory changes. BLM also violated the ESA by failing to consult with Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) before approving the revisions. The FLPMA claim was remanded.  
Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink   620 F.3d 1187 (C.A.9 (Idaho). 2010)  

Plaintiff environmental advocacy organization sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for revisions to nationwide grazing regulations for federal lands, arguing that the revisions violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The Court of Appeals held that BLM violated NEPA by failing to take a “hard look” at the environmental consequences of the proposed changes, and violated the ESA by failing to consult with Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) before approving the revisions. Opinion Amended and Superseded on Denial of Rehearing en banc by: Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink, 632 F.3d 472 (9th Cir., 2010).

 
Wildearth Guardians v. Kempthorne   592 F.Supp.2d 18 (D.D.C.,2008)  

In its suit for declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that Defendant, the Secretary of the Interior, failed to comply with his mandatory duty under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) to make a preliminary 90-day finding on two ESA listing petitions brought by Plaintiff, Plaintiff moved for leave to amend its Complaint to include a new claim against Defendant stemming from Defendant’s denial of an additional petition submitted by Plaintiff requesting that a small subset of species which had been included in one of the petitions at issue in the original Complaint be given protection on an emergency basis.  The United States District Court, District of Columbia granted Plaintiff’s motion to amend the Complaint to clarify that only a total of 674 species are covered by the two non-emergency petitions, rather than the 681 as stated in the original Complaint, but denied Plaintiff’s motion for leave to supplement its Complaint with a new claim, finding that Defendant’s decision not to issue emergency listings is committed to agency discretion by law, and thus precludes judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act.

 
WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar   741 F.Supp.2d 89 (D.D.C., 2010)  

Plaintiff, WildEarth Guardians, brought this action seeking judicial review of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final agency actions pertaining to the Utah prairie dog. Specifically, Plaintiffs aver that the FWS erred in denying (1) their petition to reclassify the Utah prairie dog as an endangered species under the ESA and (2) their petition to initiate rulemaking to repeal a regulation allowing for the limited extermination (i.e., take) of Utah prairie dogs. With respect to Plaintiff’s challenge as to reclassification, the court concluded that Plaintiff’s motion for Summary Judgment should be granted on two grounds. However, the court denied Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (and granted Defendant’s cross-motion) insofar as Plaintiff asserted that the FWS’ refusal to initiate rulemaking was arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with the ESA.

 
Wyoming Farm Burearu v. Babbitt   199 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000)  

The State Farm Bureaus (a national farm organization)), researchers, and environmental groups appealed from decision of United States and federal agencies to introduce experimental population of gray wolves in a national park and central Idaho. The United States District Court for the District of Wyoming struck down the Department of Interior's final wolf introduction rules and ordered reintroduced wolves removed. In reversing the lower court's decision, the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit held that the possibility that individual wolves from existing wolf populations could enter experimental population areas did not violate provision of Endangered Species Act requiring that such populations remain "geographically separate."  Further, the fact that the promulgated rules treated all wolves, including naturally occurring wolves, found within designated experimental population areas as nonessential experimental animals did not violate ESA.

 
Wyoming Farm Bureau v. Babbitt   987 F.Supp. 1349 (D. Wyoming 1997)  

The Wyoming Farm Bureau, amateur researchers, and environmental groups appealed an agency to introduce experimental population of gray wolves in a national park and central Idaho. After ruling on the various standing issues, the court held that the ESA section allowing experimental population to be maintained only when it is "wholly separate geographically" from nonexperimental populations includes overlap even with individual members of nonexperimental species.  However, the defendants' treatment of all wolves found within boundaries of designated experimental population areas as nonessential experimental animals was contrary to law as provided in their own regulations.  Therefore, the court ordered that Defendants' Final Rules establishing a nonessential experimental population of gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, central Idaho and southwestern Montana was unlawful.  Further, that by virtue of the plan being set aside, defendants must remove reintroduced non-native wolves and their offspring from the Yellowstone and central Idaho experimental population areas. This decision was reversed in 199 F.3d 1224.

 
Wyoming v. United States Department of the Interior   360 F. Supp. 2d 1214 (Wy. 2005)    In a letter, the Fish and Wildlife Service rejected Wyoming's wolf management plan due to Wyoming's predatory animal classification for gray wolves.  Wyoming brought claims against the United States Department of the Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedure Act.  The District Court dismissed the claims for lack of jurisdiction, reasoning the letter did not constitute final agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act.   

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