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Today, the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law published a new report on how solar energy development in the San Joaquin Valley can be “smart from the start” by siting projects on degraded lands with low habitat values for wildlife. The report, A PATH FORWARD Identifying Least-Conflict Solar PV Development in California’s San Joaquin Valley, represents a multi-stakeholder approach, featuring representatives from local government, industry, agriculture, renewable energy development, and the governor’s office to address solar energy development in the San Joaquin Valley.
In a move that will provide a boost to depleted habitat areas in the driest part of the Central Valley, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) today announced a landmark agreement with the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program. The water recycling project will supply 6,000 acre-feet of water per year to habitat in San Joaquin Valley refuges and wildlife areas.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon today invalidated the federal government’s 2014 Columbia Basin Biological Opinion (BiOp). Judge Michael Simon ruled that this latest plan – like each of its four predecessors – violates the federal Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. The Orca Salmon Alliance applauds this ruling as a monumental step toward recovering wild Chinook salmon populations on which endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales depend.
The House Armed Services Committee included destructive riders for wildlife in the NDAA, annual legislation that authorizes military funding.
From December to May this year, 150 local volunteers participated in a citizen science monitoring effort led by Defenders of Wildlife in partnership with the Bitterroot National Forest. The citizen scientists collected data and photos on rare carnivores, such as wolverines, to aid with forest planning efforts and contribute to the broader understanding of where these animals live.
A coalition of wolf conservation groups, environmental organizations and a retired federal wolf biologist today announced a court settlement requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) to prepare a long-delayed recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves by November 2017. Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in November 2014 to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s multi-decade delay in completing a recovery plan for the Mexican wolf. Earthjustice represents Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, retired Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center in the case. Today’s announcement of a settlement agreement follows a September 2015 ruling by a federal judge in Tucson that rejected the government’s effort to dismiss the case.
Conservation groups filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today – on Earth Day – for failing to protect water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta under the Clean Water Act. This failure could result in several native fish species going extinct, toxic algal blooms becoming more common, and the loss of thousands of fishing jobs in California and across the West Coast that depend on healthy Central Valley salmon runs.
Colorado House passes anti-wildlife trafficking bill
A new assessment released by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) today finds that implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program in Oregon (NFIP) is jeopardizing salmon, steelhead and southern resident orca, and adversely affecting other threatened and endangered wildlife species by incentivizing development in floodplains.
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) declined to list the Pacific fisher as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).