ESA issues can arise in various contexts such as project finance, commercial banking, real estate transactions and project development, and in both urban and rural landscapes. When projects are subject to species protection requirements as well as other federal, state and local environmental compliance obligations, it is critical to be familiar with the regulations, agency processes and stakeholders involved. Having advisors who are familiar with your industry, and whose constructive working relationships with regulators, public officials and other stakeholders assist in identifying the common ground needed to achieve your business goals, is a great way to avoid legal problems down the road.
Our nationally recognized ESA attorneys have the compliance and litigation experience to anticipate, reconcile and address competing interests through effective compliance strategies and, when necessary, litigation. Our experience across all areas of environmental regulation is a distinct advantage,
Some of our attorneys have backgrounds in science, engineering, geology, economics and public policy and bring these valuable experiences to each matter. Many worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Justice (Environment and Natural Resources Section), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Northwest Power and Conservation Council and are periodically invited by the government to help shape ESA policy.
- ESA Section 7 consultation
- ESA compliance
- Conservation plans and mitigation strategies
- Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act compliance
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) compliance
- Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies compliance
- Marine Mammal Protection Act compliance (MMPA)
ESA Section 7 Consultation
We combine an understanding of our clients’ businesses with scientific knowledge of species and habitats to shepherd projects through authorized incidental take statements. Working with your development teams and technical consultants, we negotiate compliance requirements, draft compliance provisions to ease implementation, and represent you before the agency, at hearings and at public approval meetings. We’re effective negotiators and advocates who can achieve your development goals while protecting and restoring species habitats.
ESA compliance obligations continue after a project is approved and built. We advise you through implementation of ESA compliance requirements that can span decades and cross jurisdictional borders, and we’re always on-call to assist should unexpected circumstances arise.
Avian Species Protection
Avian species protection is growing in complexity. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the MBTA, and related bird and bat conservation plans are tools designed to ensure protection and conservation of avian species. We provide strategic advice to ensure compliance and implementation of effective avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures.
Some projects cannot avoid challenges from local and/or national environmental groups, neighborhood groups and project competitors. We can help you strategically and proactively plan for such challenges by developing an administrative record that can withstand challenges and litigation. When an appeal is initiated, we work to minimize delays and ensure the ultimate compliance requirements are reasonable.
We lead successful challenges to unsupported species listings and critical habitat decisions, including cases of first impression under the ESA and MMPA. We defend you against government agency and citizen prosecutions that allege unlawful take of protected species, and challenges to ESA compliance strategies. Our success is rooted in our significant experience litigating against agency decisions restricting land development, water use, timber harvests and hydropower operations at the administrative agency level, and through all state and federal judicial levels of appeal.