Parker Moore Quoted in Bloomberg BNA on Likely Legal Challenges to Final ESA Critical Habitat Rules
Parker Moore, a Principal in Beveridge & Diamond's Washington, DC office and leader of the firm’s Endangered Species and Wildlife Protection practice group, was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report article titled "Species Habitat Rules May Face Multiple Lawsuits." The article discusses two recently finalized rules governing the designation of critical habitat area for listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the definition of “destruction and adverse modification” of critical habit. Due to the expansive authority asserted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries, the probability of lawsuits is high. “I fully expect a challenge from both sides,” Mr. Moore said.
Regardless of the thousands of comments the agencies received on the proposed rules, the final versions remained unchanged. Mr. Moore described the agency response to comments as "Thank you for your input. We disagree."
The most noteworthy portion of the rule on designating habitat is the statement that the designated area could include habitat never occupied or currently unoccupied by the protected species. Regarding this aspect of the rule, Mr. Moore said "that is something that, again, is contrary to the Endangered Species Act."