Parker Moore Quoted in Law360 on Long-Eared Bat Ruling
Principal Parker Moore (Washington, DC) was quoted in a January 30 article in Law360 titled "Long-Eared Bat Ruling a Boon for At-Risk Species." The article focuses on a recent ruling from District Judge Emmet Sullivan that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made substantial mistakes in how it protected the northern long-eared bat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
In 2015, FWS listed the bat as a threatened species throughout all of its 37-state range as opposed to as an endangered species, which would carry more protections. The court determined that FWS misinterpreted ESA, however, and failed to do a more thorough analysis that could have resulted in the bat being declared endangered in at least some of its habitat.
ESA defines an endangered species as "any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range." FWS relied on a 2014 policy interpreting that as meaning if a species is found to be threatened throughout all of its range, the agency does not have to analyze whether it is endangered in a significant portion. The court ruled that FWS can't avoid determining whether stricter endangered designation should apply in certain areas just by finding that the threatened listing fits the entire habitat.
"It just doesn't make sense," said Parker about FWS's interpretation of the policy. He also noted that FWS might start thinking about redoing the provision vacated by Judge Sullivan as it plans on formally revising a different part of the policy that has already been struck down in a couple of prior court decisions.
A different part of the policy has already been struck down in a couple of prior court decisions, and the FWS said it's planning on formally revising that portion. Parker Moore, a principal at Beveridge & Diamond PC, said the service might start thinking about redoing the provision vacated by Judge Sullivan as well.
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