Ninth Circuit upholds FWS listing of Central California tiger salamander (in unpublished opinion)
Home Builders Ass'n of Northern California v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, No. 07-17147 (9th Cir. April 10, 2009) (Not for publication...)
OPINION: Home Builders Association of Northern California, California Building Industry Association, and Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation (collectively "Home Builders") appeal the district court's order granting the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's ("FWS") and the Center for Biological Diversity's ("the Center") joint motion for summary judgment on the Home Builders's action under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") against the FWS. The Home Builders's action challenged the FWS's listing of the Central California tiger salamander as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA").
The FWS adequately established a rational connection between the facts it found and its listing decision. The FWS made express findings based on the best available scientific data about future habitat loss and concluded, in its scientific judgment, that this future habitat loss made it likely that the Central California tiger salamander will become in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range in the foreseeable future. The FWS is not required to state a threshold level of habitat loss that is necessary to find a species is threatened. See Kern County Farm Bureau v. Allen, 450 F.3d 1072, 1081-82 (9th Cir.2006). N1Thus, the district court did not err by granting the FWS's and Center's motion for summary judgment.
Photo of California Tiger Salamander by C. Johnson from FWS.