Case Summary Citation

Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89355, 2017 WL 2438327 (D. Ariz. Mar. 29, 2017)


The ESA protects threatened or endangered species, and species likely to become threatened or endangered within the foreseeable future, throughout all or a significant portion of their range. In Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona overturned a Fish and Wildlife Service policy defining the significant portion of range language in the ESA. The policy interpretation limited ESA protections to apply only when a species faced risk of extinction throughout its entire range. The court deemed this policy impermissible because it effectively rendered the significant portion of range language meaningless. The court held that the Service’s significant portion of range policy was contrary to the conservation goals of the ESA and that the Service’s 2011 Final Pygmy Owl Rule was invalid, resulting in violations of the ESA and the APA.



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