Prompted by PLF Suit, Feds Move Toward Delisting Valley Beetle
Prompted by litigation from Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), federal officials today proposed that the valley elderberry longhorn beetle be removed from the federal Endangered Species Act list, because it no longer needs protection.
Although final removal would take another year, after public input is solicited, today’s decision is a decisive step toward taking the beetle off the federal list.
The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) comes in response to PLF litigation — most recently, an April, 2011 lawsuit — to compel FWS to begin the delisting process. A study by FWS several years ago indicated the beetle is not threatened, but FWS failed to follow up with a formal finding to start the delisting process — until PLF sued.
In this video, PLF attorney Damien Schiff lauds the Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to delist the valley elderberry longhorn beetle. Schiff explains how the Service's action is a direct result of PLF's successful lawsuit against the Service, settled earlier this year.
“Today’s announcement is good news for California’s economy, for property rights, and for honesty and integrity in environmental regulations,” said PLF Principal Attorney Damien Schiff. “The beetle isn’t endangered or threatened, so heavy-handed restrictions on landowners and job-creation aren’t needed in order to help the beetle. These beetle regulations have also been making it more expensive to shore up levees and protect the public from floods. It is regrettable that the federal government had to be sued to do its duty and start the process of taking the beetle off the endangered species list. We will be monitoring closely to make sure that delisting actually happens, so the economy and public safety won’t continue to be endangered by these unjustified regulations.”
In its lawsuit, PLF attorneys represent — free of charge — a coalition of California landowners, businesses, farmers, and flood-control agencies.
Plaintiffs include Levee District 1, Reclamation District 784, Butte County Farm Bureau, Solano County Farm Bureau, Yolo County Farm Bureau, Sacramento Valley Landowners Association, and North Sacramento Land Company.
About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation (www.pacificlegal.org) is the leading public interest legal organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts across the country. Among PLF’s noteworthy victories: The federal court ruling that led to the bald eagle being removed from the ESA list.