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Category Archives: Endangered/Threatened Species

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Wherefore Art Thou, Fisher? U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Decides Not to List the Pacific Fisher

Posted in Endangered/Threatened Species

On April 14, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it would not list the Pacific Fisher under the Endangered Species Act. The fisher (Pekania pennant) is presently found in Southern Oregon, Northern California, and the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, although historically, the species ranged the northern forests of Canada and the United States,… Continue Reading

What We Are Reading, October 3: Cement Plant Retrofits, Critical Habitat Land Grabs, and Job Losses Under the Clean Air Act

Posted in Clean Air Act, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Rule Making

This week has been a week of catching up, so some of this may be old news to you, but maybe you have a tall stack of things you aspire to read someday and you’ll have some sympathy… St. Mary’s Cement Inc. Against the EPA Out of the Sixth Circuit, by way of Michigan, a… Continue Reading

Pebble Mine Jumps the Gun on Challenge to EPA’s 404(c) Authority

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Project Permitting

Ruling from the bench on Friday, Judge H. Russel Holland dismissed Pebble Limited Partnership’s claims that the EPA overstepped its authority in initiating proceedings under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. (The written opinion is here.) EPA advised Pebble Partnership by letter in February 2014 that it was beginning the process under 404(c) to review… Continue Reading

Friday (the 13th) Morning Link Roundup: EPA Administrator Snubbing Press, Canada’s Attention Shifts to Coal Exports, Fish Consumption and More from the Wild Fish Conservancy

Posted in Clean Energy, Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Fish Consumption

A quick roundup of some of the articles that caught my eye on Twitter in the past week or so: First, U.S. News‘ Washington Whispers page has a report out on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seemingly snubbing the press after a private event at the National Press Club yesterday where she gave a presentation on… Continue Reading

EPA’s Initiation of a Clean Water Act Section 404(c) Review for the Mining of the Pebble Deposit: What is the History of EPA’s Other 404(c) Determinations?

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Project Permitting, Uncategorized, Water Quality

Last Friday, EPA announced that it is initiating review of the proposed mining of the Pebble deposit in Alaska under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, a little-used part of the CWA that allows EPA to “veto” Section 404 permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. As we briefly discussed over on Graham… Continue Reading

Elwha Dam Removal Update, February 2014: What Remains of the Dams?

Posted in Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Geeky Science Stuff, Natural Resources and Environment

It has been a while since my last dam removal update, and there is a lot to report. At the one year mark (September 2012), the lower dam had already been removed. Since that time, the area surrounding the dam has continued to be re-vegetated and the difference between September 2011 and September 2013 is… Continue Reading

Wild Fish Conservancy Sends 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue the Department of Fish and Widlife Over Agency Practice of Planting Hatchery Steelhead in Puget Sound Rivers

Posted in Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species

Late last week, the Wild Fish Conservancy sent notice of intent to sue under the federal Endangered Species Act to the members of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, alleging that WDFW’s longtime Chambers Creek steelhead hatchery program violates Section 9 of the ESA by causing take of Puget Sound Chinook, Puget Sound steelhead, and… Continue Reading

Recent Developments in Acoustic Telemetry Studies of Salmonid Migration–Geeky Science Stuff Friday

Posted in Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Geeky Science Stuff, Project Permitting, SEPA

I’ve read a couple fascinating studies applying acoustic telemetry to salmonid migration here in the Pacific Northwest, and thought those would be good to share for a Friday morning link dump: First, and filed under geeky science stuff, ecologists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have published a paper detailing their work… Continue Reading

The Coal Export Fight: Negative Implications for Future Dam Removal?

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, SEPA, Uncategorized

This weekend, Lynda Mapes at the Seattle Times wrote an interesting article on the drop of barge traffic along the Lower Snake River, and how a shift from barge to rail as the means of shipping wheat from Idaho to foreign markets may take away one of the primary obstacles to the removal of four… Continue Reading

Dam Removal Update: Elwha River Restoration Project Hits One-Year Construction Mark

Posted in Endangered/Threatened Species, Energy Policy, Project Permitting, Water Quality

The demolition phase of the removal of two dams on the Elwha River is at the one-year mark, and the progress over the past year–after decades of planning–is stunning. For those of you outside of the Pacific Northwest that haven’t been following this project, it is a big deal. Two dams–built in the early 1900s–are… Continue Reading

Offshore Shellfish Cultivation: KZO Sea Farms Obtains Preliminary Corps Permit for Facility off Long Beach

Posted in Endangered/Threatened Species, Energy Policy, Project Permitting, Shellfish Industry, Sustainability, Water Quality

Last week, KZO Sea Farms obtained a preliminary permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for a 100-acre, offshore, shellfish farm in the Southern California Bight, approximately 9 miles offshore of Long Beach and outside of the 3-mile territorial limit of California’s state waters. The proposed project has the potential to farm two species of… Continue Reading

Orcas, salmon and vessel traffic: implications for project permitting in the Pacific Northwest

Posted in Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species

A group of researchers from the University of Washington, NMFS, and other organizations just released the results of an interesting study on the interplay of vessel traffic, prey abundance, and health of resident Orca populations in Puget Sound. This study looked at the interplay between vessel traffic and prey abundance for resident Orcas in Puget… Continue Reading