Case Summary Citation

Center for Biological Diversity v. Zinke, 900 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2018)


The oft-cited “arbitrary and capricious” standard revived the Center for Biological Diversity’s most recent legal challenge in its decades-long quest to see arctic grayling listed under the Endangered Species Act. While this Ninth Circuit decision did not grant grayling ESA protections, it did require the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its 2014 finding that listing grayling as threatened or endangered was unwarranted. In doing so, the court found “range,” as used in the ESA, vague while endorsing the FWS’s 2014 clarification of that term. Finally, this holding identified specific shortcomings of the challenged FWS finding, highlighting how agency decision making can cross from acceptable to arbitrary.



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