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Enforcement and penalties, §11

Wildearth Guardians v. United States Department of Justice

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit vacated a district court's order granting summary judgment to environmental groups challenging DOJ's McKittrick policy. The groups argued before the district court that the policy, which...

Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross

A district court granted environmental groups' request for discovery relevant to the lobster fishing industry's impact on the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The groups argued that NMFS violated its ongoing duty under §7 of the...

United States v. Charette

The Ninth Circuit vacated a lower court's conviction of a man in Montana for killing a threatened grizzly bear in violation of the ESA. The man claimed that he was acting in self-defense when he killed the bear behind his home in May...

Overcriminalization and the Endangered Species Act: Mens Rea and Criminal Convictions for Take

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) makes it a crime to “knowingly” take any member of an endangered species. The government has generally interpreted this to require the defendant’s knowledge of each of the elements of the offense;...

Friends of Animals v. Ashe

A district court dismissed conservation groups' lawsuit challenging FWS' and DOI's decision to issue permits authorizing two American hunters to import the trophies they garnered in legal hunts of black rhinoceros in Namibia. The groups...

Monetary Rewards for Wildlife Whistleblowers: A Game-Changer in Wildlife Trafficking Detection and Deterrence

Despite the enactment of scores of wildlife protection laws, illegal activities are difficult to detect under current enforcement policies. Both the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act include language providing monetary incentives...

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. MacWhorter

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision dismissing an environmental group's ESA lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service concerning the agency's approval of suction dredge mining projects in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National...

Protecting Our Environment in a Virtual Age: How Wildlife Webcams Could Strengthen Enforcement of the Endangered Species Act

With the introduction of wildlife webcams, anyone with an Internet connection can view real-time, live video feed capturing a variety of species, including endangered species, in their natural habitats from a remote location. The U.S....

Loggerhead Turtle v. County Council of Volusia County, Fla.

The court holds that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001), did not prohibit the use of the catalyst test as...

Center for Biological Diversity v. Norton

The court affirms a district court decision rejecting an environmental group's claims for attorney fees in connection with their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in which they sought the listing of the Arkansas...