What Makes Land “Critical Habitat?”

Under the federal Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is authorized to designate land (or water) that a species occupies, i.e., lives (or could naturally live or grow) as “critical habitat” for an endangered species.  16 U.S.C. § 1533...

The Supreme Court Welcomes Dusky Gopher Frogs

On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s designation of 1,500 acres of private forestry land in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, an endangered species.  Weyhauser v. U.S....

Lawsuit Runs Out of Steam

WestRock Virginia Corporation owns and operates a paper mill in Covington, Virginia.  In 2011, WestRock built an open-loop biomass facility, and the construction included retrofitting one of its pre-existing boilers to provide steam to a steam turbine generator to...

Jumping the Gun

In 2014, California passed legislation limiting the amount of “carcinogenic hexavalent chromium” in public drinking water to ten parts per billion, effective January 1, 2020. Following passage of the legislation, the Sacramento Suburban Water District, which provides...
States Lead the Way in Protecting Threatened Species

States Lead the Way in Protecting Threatened Species

Wildlife protection has been historically primarily a state function.  The states have regulated hunting and fishing, land development, industry, mining, forestry (except on federally owned lands), and water allocation.  Many states have even enacted their own species...