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Conservation Force v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20192
Nos. 11-5316, (D.C. Cir., 08/20/2013)

The D.C. Circuit denied petitions to downlist the straighthorned markhor, a subspecies of wild goat found in Pakistan, from endangered to threatened. The petitioners—safari clubs, hunters, and international conservationists—argued that FWS violated the ESA and APA by failing to issue a 12-month finding on a 1999 petition to downlist the species. But since the case was filed, FWS issued its finding on a 2010 petition to downlist the species, concluding that downlisting was appropriate. Both the 1999 and 2010 petitions sought precisely the same thing: a rule to downlist the straighthorned markhor. By taking action with respect to the latter petition, FWS effectively took action with respect to the former petition as well. Accordingly, the petitioners have obtained all the relief that they sought, and their claims relating to the 1999 downlisting petition are moot. Similarly, claims that FWS failed to timely act on applications to import markhor trophies are moot because the agency has since processed and denied those applications. Lastly, there is no record evidence to support the claim that any of the petitioners suffered an injury-in-fact from the FWS' alleged ongoing policy of delay in processing trophy applications.