Partner Barbara Craig was quoted in Law360 in an article titled “4 Endangered Species Listing Decisions To Watch.” The article discusses the court-imposed requirement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) to make a large number of Endangered Species Act listing decisions by 2018, focusing on four species whose listing has caused contention among environmentalists, landowners, businesses and the government.
The 2018 deadline is part of settlements the FWS reached with environmental groups over its alleged failure to make decisions on whether or not to list hundreds of animals as endangered or threatened. Disagreements over the listings among interested parties have arisen over such topics as the potential economic impacts of the decisions, the extent of actual responsibility of parties for a species’ decline and further restrictions the listing of particular species may cause for industries such as oil and gas, shipping and fishing.
Craig discusses the Northern Long-Eared Bat, which the FWS has proposed listing based on the effects of a disease, white-nose syndrome, that has reportedly killed millions of the creatures. Craig said that a listing for the bat would be problematic because any remedy could adversely affect industries not necessarily connected to the species’ decline.
“The service’s own documentation indicates that, but for the disease, they don’t think they’d need to list," she said. "And then in areas where the disease hasn’t hit yet, the population is pretty robust. So I’m not sure it would warrant a listing, and it certainly wouldn’t warrant an endangered listing."
Read “4 Endangered Species Listing Decisions To Watch,” published October 23, 2014. (Subscription Required.)