The Elderberry Longhorn Beetle doesn’t belong on any ESA list
North Sacramento Land Company v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Contact: Damien M. Schiff
Status: PLF’s clients and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service entered into a settlement in litigation over the status of the valley elderberry longhorn beetle. On Oct. 1, 2012, the Service issued a published finding proposing to delist the beetle. The Service now has one year to finalize the proposal.
Pacific Legal Foundation litigation has compelled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue by September 28, 2012, the determination on whether the Valley elderberry longhorn beetle should be removed from the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) list.
PLF attorneys represent a broad coalition of private property owners and flood control districts in petitioning the Service to remove the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from the list of threatened species under the ESA.
PLF settled a lawsuit with the Service in 2005 that established a completion schedule for five-year status reviews, which are mandatory under the ESA. The Valley elderberry longhorn beetle is one of about 200 species covered by that settlement.
The Service completed the status review of the beetle in 2006, pursuant to the settlement. The review recommended that the beetle should be delisted under the ESA based upon the beetle’s recovery since 1980 as well as a reduced number of threats to the species.
Six years after the 2006 recommendation, however, the Service has not delisted the beetle. As a result, landowners, flood control districts, and others must still devote their limited resources to protect a beetle that in reality no longer requires federal protection.
PLF argued that the Service must act upon its own recommendation and delist the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from the list of threatened and endangered species. Because the Service did not respond to PLF’s delisting petition, PLF attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Service in order to force the agency to comply with its statutory requirements under the Endangered Species Act.