ESA in the Circuit Courts: 1st on Canada Lynx, 9th on Vernal Pool critical habitat
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE v. MARTIN, No. 09-2643, 2010 WL 4104633 (1st Cir, Oct. 20, 2010).
BACKGROUND: This appeal is from the district court's denial of plaintiffs' motion to enjoin Maine state officials from allowing the use of any foothold traps, which are used to legally trap other species. Plaintiffs argued this relief was necessary to prevent incidental takes of lynx in these traps. See 50 C.F.R. § 17.3 (defining incidental taking). The district court held that plaintiffs had not shown irreparable injury, even recognizing the special emphasis in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on protecting threatened species. We affirm.
EXCERPT: ...the district court held that Maine's previous, now-replaced Conibear trap regulations did pose a mortal risk to at least some Canada lynx, and the district court issued an injunction, forcing Maine to amend its regulations immediately. AWI I, 588 F.Supp.2d at 109. The district court thus engaged in exactly the fact-sensitive analysis required by law.
HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA v. UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, No. 07-16732, 616 F.3d 983 (9th Cir., Aug. 9, 2010).
BACKGROUND: Industry groups filed action against United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) with regard to its designation of about 850,000 acres of land as critical habitat for 15 endangered or threatened vernal pool species. Conservation groups intervened as defendants in support of designation. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, William B. Shubb, J., upheld that designation. Plaintiffs appealed.
HOLDINGS: The Court of Appeals, Pallmeyer, District Judge, sitting by designation, held that: (1) all elements essential for conservation of species did not have to be present in same area to designate land as critical habitat; (2) FWS could determine what elements were necessary for conservation without determining exactly when conservation would be complete; (3) requirement for determination of criteria for measuring when species would be conserved applied only to preparation of recovery plan; (4) area designated as “critical habitat” that met requirements for unoccupied habitat also met requirements for occupied habitat; (5) explicit textual exclusion of structures from designation satisfied ESA's requirement that “specific areas” be designated; and (6) economic analysis from outside consultant properly accounted for economic impact of designation. Affirmed.