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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« NOAA elects not to list Lynn Canal Pacific Herring, But Undertakes Status Review of Pacific Herring As A Whole | Main| Federal Judge Upholds Listing of the Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon »

Federal Judge in Minnesota Directs Agency to Cease Unauthorized Incidental Take of the Canada Lynx

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Animal Protection Institute and Center For Biological Diversity vs. Mark Holsten, Civil No. 06-3776 (MJD/RLE) (D. Minnesota, March 28, 2008).

Plaintiffs allege that Holsten, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, violated the Endangered Species Act Section 9, 16 U.S.C. § 1538, by authorizing and allowing trapping and snaring activities that "take" Canada Lynx.   Specifically, DNR regulates the trapping of species, but failed to include FWS recommendations such as those published by FWS in its 2003 flyer, “How to Avoid Incidental Take of Lynx While Trapping or Hunting Bobcats and other Furbearers,” and DNR did not have an incidental take permit for its activities.

The Court rejected DNR’s argument that it was not the proximate cause of harm to Lynx, relying on caselaw including Strahan v. Coxe, 127 F.3d 155,163 (1st Cir.1997) cert. denied,525 U.S. 830 (1998), in which Massachusetts was licensing fishing that impacted the Northern Right Whale. The court found that "a governmental third party pursuant to whose authority an actor directly exacts a taking of an endangered species may be deemed to have violated the provisions of the ESA."   The Court also rejected arguments relating to mootness, ESA Section 6, and the Tenth Amendment.

Ultimately, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief, stating: "The DNR shall promptly take all action necessary to insure no further taking of threatened Canada Lynx by trapping or snaring activities within the core Canada Lynx ranges, including, but not limited to: applying for an incidental take permit for Canada Lynx on or before April 30, 2008...  to restrict, modify or eliminate the use the incidental taking of Canada Lynx through trapping activities in the core Canada Lynx ranges."

OTHER RESOURCES:
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources webpage on Canada Lynx.
  • Local news coverage of the court opinion in the Star-Tribune

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Photo of Canada Lynx by Erwin Bauer, FWS, available from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources