• Ninth Circuit Raises the Level of Protection Afforded to Critical Habitat
  • October 7, 2004 | Authors: Robert J. Uram; Ella Foley-Gannon
  • Law Firm: Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP - San Francisco Office
  • In a ruling with broad implications for land development in California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's longstanding interpretation of the Endangered Species Act's requirement to prevent adverse modification of designated critical habitat. The Ninth Circuit found that the Endangered Species Act prohibits any federal action which appreciably diminishes the value of critical habitat for the recovery of a listed species and invalidated the Service's regulation which limited protection of critical habitat to those actions which would potentially impact the value of critical habitat for the survival of a listed species.