Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almy to Speak at Northwestern Law

Jessica Almy has been invited to speak at Northwestern University School of Law, during its Animal Law Week (April 4 - April 7) hosted by Northwestern Law's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter.  Almy will speak on Thursday, April 7th during the Wildlife Law event.  Her presentation will overview historical wildlife protection cases handled by Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.  In addition, Almy will detail cases for which she is lead counsel, including a recent success restoring Endangered Species Act protections to the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel (Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar) and a current matter challenging approval of the Cape Wind offshore wind power facility for violating the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.  The event is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm, in Rubloff (RB) 150 (Northwestern University School of Law is located at 375 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611).  For more information, please email Susan Kai (

Monday, March 28, 2011

Squirrel Victorious: Judge Restores Protections of Endangered Species Act

Representing Friends of Blackwater and four other plaintiffs, we prevailed in a federal district court lawsuit to restore the protections of the Endangered Species Act to the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel.  Judge Emmet Sullivan’s opinion, rendered late Friday, returned the Squirrel to the list of endangered species and affirmed that the government must follow the recovery plans it creates for endangered and threatened species.  The ruling means that scientifically-based recovery criteria for endangered and threatened species, once adopted in a formal recovery plan, cannot be ignored due to political motivation or simple bureaucratic expediency.  Rather, if an agency believes that such recovery criteria are in need of revision (which was not established for the squirrel) then the agency must do so pursuant to the publicly and scientifically accountable process embodied in the law.  The opinion, Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar, Civ. No. 09-2122 (D.D.C. Mar. 25, 2011), is available here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Amicus Brief Filed in U.S. Supreme Court Case on the Application of Federal Common Law to Climate Change

Today we filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the National Wildlife Federation, supporting the State and Land Trust plaintiffs that brought suit challenging defendants’ substantial contributions to climate change as injurious to their proprietary and other interests that are being devastated by global warming and other climatic disturbances traceable to greenhouse gas emissions.  Specifically, our brief focuses on the threshold issue of standing in environmental cases, and argues that the plaintiffs adequately alleged all elements necessary for standing, especially in view of the limited nature of the Court’s inquiry in this case in light of the unique facts presented in this common law cause of action.  The oral argument will take place on April 19, 2011.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lawsuit Filed Over San Francisco Killing of Endangered Species at Sharp Park Golf Course

Working with the Wild Equity Institute, we filed a lawsuit this week in federal district court in California over the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s unlawful “take” of federally protected species at Sharp Park golf course, a city-owned course located within Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  The Complaint alleges that in recent years, egg masses of the California red-legged frog have been jeopardized by the draining of wetlands to facilitate use of the golf course, and course operations also are causing the take of the endangered San Francisco garter snake, all in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  A copy of the Complaint is here.