By Kerry Shapiro and Dan Quinley
After more than a year of scientific study on the status of the western Joshua tree (“WJT”), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”) has just completed its status review (“Status Review”) of the WJT and determined that the best available science on the species does not warrant listing it as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (“CESA”). CDFW’s conclusion mirrors the conclusion independently made in a Population Study prepared on behalf of JMBM client California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (“CalCIMA”) and also submitted to CDFW and the California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”) for consideration in the Commission’s final determination on whether or not to list the species. CalCIMA’s Population Study was submitted pursuant to Title 14, section 670.1(h) of the California Code of Regulations on April 5, 2022, and therefore must be considered by the Commission in making a final listing determination.
In making its recommendation to not list the WJT, CDFW found, based on “the best scientific information available to the Department” that the species “is not in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all, or a significant portion, of its range,” and that “special protection and management efforts required by CESA” were not required for the species. Continue reading