Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Greens' massive lawsuit aims to force FWS deadline deal

The Center for Biological Diversity today threatened legal action against the Fish and Wildlife Service to jump-start the stalled Endangered Species Act status reviews of 417 imperiled species — a move that could set the stage for another major legal settlement between the conservation group and the agency. The species listed in the notice of intent to sue were all flagged for ESA protection by CBD and other nonprofits over the past eight years. They include coastal flatwoods crayfish, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, panhandle lilies and hundreds of other species. After 90-day reviews, FWS found that all of the conservation groups' ESA petitions presented "substantial scientific or commercial information" that the animals or plants should be added to the endangered or threatened species lists. But the agency then failed to complete more rigorous 12-month reviews of the imperiled species to determine whether listing is not warranted, warranted or warranted but precluded by other priorities. "You are in violation of the law and have abrogated your duty to ensure that protection of endangered species occurs in a timely manner thereby avoiding further decline and increased risk of extinction," CBD said in today's notice...more

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