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Environmental law

Natural Resources Law

2018

University of Montana

Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Law

Highway Culverts, Salmon Runs, And The Stevens Treaties: A Century Of Litigating Pacific Northwest Tribal Fishing Rights, Ryan Hickey Oct 2018

Highway Culverts, Salmon Runs, And The Stevens Treaties: A Century Of Litigating Pacific Northwest Tribal Fishing Rights, Ryan Hickey

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Isaac Stevens, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Governor of Washington Territory, negotiated a series of treaties with Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest during 1854 and 1855. A century and a half later in 2001, the United States joined 21 Indian tribes in filing a Request for Determination in the United States District Court for the District of Washington. Plaintiffs alleged the State of Washington had violated those 150-year-old treaties, which remained in effect, by building and maintaining culverts under roads that prevented salmon passage. This litigation eventually reached the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held in favor …


Collaboration Through Nepa: Achieving A Social License To Operate On Federal Public Lands, Temple Stoellinger, L. Steven Smutko, Jessica M. Western Oct 2018

Collaboration Through Nepa: Achieving A Social License To Operate On Federal Public Lands, Temple Stoellinger, L. Steven Smutko, Jessica M. Western

Public Land & Resources Law Review

As demand and consumption of natural gas increases, so will drilling operations to extract the natural gas on federal public lands. Fueled by the shale gas revolution, natural gas drilling operations are now frequently taking place, not only in the highly documented urban settings, but also on federal public lands with high conservation value. The phenomenon of increased drilling in sensitive locations, both urban and remote, has sparked increased public opposition, requiring oil and gas producers to reconsider how they engage the public. Oil and gas producers have increasingly deployed the concept of a social license to operate to gain …


Public-Private Conservation Agreements And The Greater Sage-Grouse, Justin R. Pidot Oct 2018

Public-Private Conservation Agreements And The Greater Sage-Grouse, Justin R. Pidot

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2015, the Obama Administration announced its conservation plans for the greater sage-grouse, an iconic bird of the intermountain west.Political leadership at the time described those plans as the “largest landscape-level conservation effort in U.S. history,”and they served as the foundation for a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) that a listing of the bird was not warranted under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The Trump Administration appears poised to substantially amend the plans, although an array of interested parties have urged that the plans be left intact. Regardless of the outcome of this debate, conservation of …


Streamlining The Production Of Clean Energy: Proposals To Reform The Hydroelectricity Licensing Process, Travis Kavulla, Laura Farkas Oct 2018

Streamlining The Production Of Clean Energy: Proposals To Reform The Hydroelectricity Licensing Process, Travis Kavulla, Laura Farkas

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Hydroelectric power is an efficient and clean source of power. In an era when air emissions dominate public concern about the environmental effects of the energy sector, it is a paradox that among the most highly regulated energy projects are hydroelectric dams, which do not combust fuel. This is partly due to a failure of successive statutory enactments,which have transformed hydroelectric licensing from a regulatory “one-stop shop” with a single regulator, to a process chained to a bewilderingnumber of often conflicting regulatory agencies, often riven with delay. Hydroelectric licensing has also failed because its capacious standard of review encourages special-interest …


Center For Biological Diversity V. Zinke, Ryan Hickey Oct 2018

Center For Biological Diversity V. Zinke, Ryan Hickey

Public Land & Resources Law Review

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 …


Friends Of Animals V. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Bradley E. Tinker Oct 2018

Friends Of Animals V. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Bradley E. Tinker

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In Friends of Animals v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the Ninth Circuit held that the plain language of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act allows for the removal of one species of bird to benefit another species. Friends of Animals argued that the Service’s experiment permitting the taking of one species––the barred owl––to advance the conservation of a different species––the northern spotted owl––violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The court, however, found that the Act delegates broad implementing discretion to the Secretary of the Interior, and neither the Act nor the underlying international conventions limit the taking of …


California Sea Urchin Commission V. Bean, Thomas C. Mooney-Myers Sep 2018

California Sea Urchin Commission V. Bean, Thomas C. Mooney-Myers

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In California Sea Urchin Commission v. Bean, the Ninth Circuit upheld the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to end an experimental sea otter colony and translocation program. Commercial fishing groups sought reversal of the decision due to their interest in maintaining the translocation program which reduced otter predation on commercially valuable shellfish. While the Ninth Circuit held the group had standing, it then applied the Chevron test and determined the agency’s actions were reasonable.