Yes, there’s a difference between “endangered” and “threatened” species

Federal district court tells FWS its discretion to choose the less protected designation has limits

A recent ruling from the federal District Court in DC provides an important  lesson that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would do well to heed: the agency has limited discretion to find that species are threatened rather than endangered. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), species can be listed as either endangered (“in danger …


Gray wolf update: rider upheld and Wyoming delisting a step closer

A few months ago, Rhead summarized litigation over the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s multiple attempts to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species, and noted environmental groups’ filing of a challenge to the appropriations rider which called for FWS to re-delist (is that a word?) the wolf in Montana …


Is this any way to run a democracy?

It isn’t exactly news that the U.S. Senate is an anti-majoritarian institution. The filibuster, which effectively allows 41 Senators to block action, gets a lot of attention. But much worse is the “hold,” which lets a single senator stand in the way of a bill or nomination. According to the Senate’s glossary, a hold is …


State of the birds

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, and a coalition of NGOs and state wildlife agencies have issued the first comprehensive report on the State of the Birds in the U.S. Of more than 800 species, 67 are federally listed under the ESA, and another 184 are considered species of conservation concern because …