Articles Posted in Endangered Species Act

Published on:

By Kerry Shapiro and Daniel Quinley

The last month has seen a flurry of activity related to the California and Federal Endangered Species Acts, including:

  1. The California Supreme Court’s denial of review in the Almond Alliance of California v. California Fish and Game Commission litigation
  2. Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of a fifth member of the California Fish and Game Commission
  3. That Commission’s October 9, 2022 hearing, where consideration of the petition to list the western Joshua tree (WJT) as a threatened species was continued for a second time
  4. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed listing of the Bay-Delta longfin smelt on October 7

First, on September 21, 2022, the California Supreme Court denied a petition to review a ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Almond Alliance of California v. Fish & Game Com., (2022) 79 Cal.App.5th 337. This denial lets stand the decision by the Court of Appeal, allowing the listing of four bumble bee species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). In that decision, issued in May of this year, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the trial court, reasoning that the Fish and Game Commission could list insects because the California legislature – despite evidence accepted by the trial court that the legislative committees that wrote CESA’s language explicitly believe insects were ineligible for listing – found that “the term of art employed by the Legislature in the definition of fish is not … limited” to aquatic species. Continue reading

Published on:

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