Category Archives: Endangered Species Act

Overview of the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act has been in the news on nearly a daily basis this year.  We have seen new listings of several animals under the Act, which will impact landowners, farmers and ranchers, the oil and gas industry, and others in the areas in which the listed animals live.  In light of this, I developed an Extension Fact Sheet that provides a brief overview of the Act.  My intent is to give people an idea of how the act works, the major provisions, and the options available… Read More →

November 21, 2014 Weekly Round Up

We made it to Friday!  Tomorrow I will be teaching my last law school class at the Texas A&M School of Law in Ft. Worth.  I have so enjoyed the opportunity to teach this class and was fortunate to have an absolutely outstanding group of students.  To those students visiting the blog, welcome and thanks for a great semester! Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * Railroad Commission Finalizes New Disposal Well Safety Rule.  The Texas Railroad Commission has promulgated a new… Read More →

Utah Federal Court Imposes Limit on Endangered Species Act

A federal district judge in Utah issued an important opinion earlier this month.  The court struck down federal regulation of the Utah prairie dog pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, finding that the federal government lacked the power to regulate the prairie dog that is found only in the state of Utah. Background on Congressional Powers Now, for a brief Constitutional Law lesson.  The general rule is that the federal government is one of limited and enumerated powers, meaning they are given only those powers expressly enumerated by the United States… Read More →

October 10, 2014 Weekly Round Up

October is an exciting month for me and will be culminating in a couple of major changes.  I will be getting married at the end of the month! As a result of the upcoming nuptials, I will be transferring office locations.  I will still be working in my same role with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension as the state-wide Extension Agricultural Law Specialist, but I will be moving my base office to our Amarillo District Center.  It is a wonderful opportunity for my husband and I to live in the same… Read More →

October 3, 2014 Weekly Round Up

I spent a good part of this week at county Farm Bureau meetings visiting with Texas agricultural producers.  Last Saturday, I was in Longview, TX for the Gregg County Farm Bureau meeting where I spoke about current Hot Topics in Agricultural Law.  Many thanks to Glenn Richardson for the invitation.  On Wednesday evening I made the drive to Huntsville for the Walker County Farm Bureau meeting where we discussed water rights in Texas.  I appreciate Carl thinking of me and including me on the program.  Welcome to those… Read More →

September 12, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It’s been busy in the ag law world.  Here are a few of the stories and articles in the headlines over the last week. * Two Groundwater District Approaches, One Aquifer.  Neena Satija with the Texas Tribune wrote a great article discussing a controversy between Groundwater Conservation Districts managing the Corrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Central Texas.  The Post Oak Savannah GCD and the Lost Pines GCD both manage groundwater for counties overlaying the same aquifer.  Both, however, take different approaches to the permitting process.  These differing approaches have allowed water… Read More →

July 25, 2014 Weekly Round Up

It has been a warm, humid week here in Aggieland!  Here are a few ag law stories making the news recently. * Plaintiffs’ Attorney Explains Case Against Prius Audit Firm.  An attorney representing 46 plaintiffs who were injured or killed from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm in Colorado wrote a very interesting blog about the suits his clients have filed against the audit firm who gave the farm a superior rating in the days just before the tainted fruit was shipped.  The attorney discusses the facts, legal… Read More →

5th Circuit Rules for TCEQ in Whooping Crane Case

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision last week in Aransas Project v. Shaw, an important case involving claims that the TCEQ’s issuance of water rights permits violated the Endangered Species Act. Background In 2008 and 2009, 23 whooping cranes, which are considered endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act, allegedly died in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  This information was based on a survey by biologists.  Only four carcasses were actually located. In 2010, The Aransas Project, and environmental group filed suit claiming that the birds’ deaths… Read More →

July 3, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Last week I was in Denton, Texas speaking at the Denton County Agricultural Law Program.  County Extension Agent Brandon Boughen put together a great program for participants that included Wayne Hayenga on estate planning and myself discussing water law and agricultural leases.  Thanks to Brandon for all of his hard work! It has been a very busy week for news related to agricultural law.  Major decisions were issued by the New York Court of Appeals regarding local agencies’ rights to prohibit oil and gas production (read blog here) and by… Read More →

June 20, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This has been a busy week!  On Monday evening, I was in Wheeler, Texas giving a presentation on estate and succession planning.  County Agent Dale Dunlap invited me to come and I was impressed with the great questions from the audience on these important issues. On Tuesday, I headed for Boston for the Universities Council on Water Resources Conference at Tufts, University.  I was fortunate to present on two panels at the conference.  On Tuesday, I spoke along with Dr. Ari Michelsen of Texas A&M and Dr. Brian Hurd… Read More →