Category Archives: Endangered Species Act

September & October Round Up (Part 1)

Hello!  I am back in the saddle again after spending some time on maternity leave.  Thank you all so much for your kind wishes for our little family. During middle of the night feedings, I’ve managed to stay up to date on what’s been happening in the ag law world.  Here are some of the top stories from the last two months. WOTUS rule stayed nationwide, cases will not be consolidated.  As you previously read, the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit has issued a… Read More →

Court Vacates Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing Under Endangered Species Act

In September, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has found that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) acted improperly in finding the lesser prairie chicken met the requirements to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The court, therefore, vacated the bird’s listing under the Act.  [Read full opinion here.] Endangered Species Act Background The Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) seeks to offer legal protection to species facing extinction by prohibiting a “take” of animals subject to the Act’s protection.  “Take” is… Read More →

September 4, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Here is the first weekly round up of September!  The year is really flying by!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Is New “WOTUS” Rule In Effect in Texas?  As you read last week, a North Dakota federal judge issued an injunction in a case brought by 13 states, prohibiting enforcement of the EPA’s new “waters of the United States” rule.  After the decision, all sides were claiming victory.  All sides agree that in the 13 states (including New Mexico) party to… Read More →

August 21, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Here are some of the ag law related stories in the news this week. * Study Looks at Water Used for Fracking in Eagle Ford Shale.  The Texas Water Journal recently published an interesting article titled “Groundwater use in the Eagle Ford Shale” some policy recommendations.”  The article outlines water use in the Eagle Ford Shale area, focusing specifically on water used for fracking, and offers three policy recommendations the authors believe should be considered, including mandatory reporting for all water uses, providing incentives to lure oil and… Read More →

March 6, 2015 Weekly Round Up

*  Farm Bill Deadlines Extended Until March 31.  Last week the USDA announced the extension of farm bill deadlines, making all decisions due by March 31.  [Read article here.]  Producers will be allowed to make three decisions in connection with the Farm Bill:  whether to reallocate base acres, whether to update yields, and then elect between two payment programs–ARC or PLC.  To read more about these decisions, click here. * Article Discusses Underground Trespass Issue.  You likely recall from this post that the Texas Supreme Court recently avoided… Read More →

Agriculutral Law: What To Watch in 2015

As everyone is recovering from the New Year celebrations and getting back to the grindstone, I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of the major ag law issues to watch in 2015. Water Disputes Unfortunately, this issue will likely top the list every year for the near future.  Across the country we are seeing more and more water-related disputes.  In addition to the issues outlined in my 2014 Year in Review post, there are two additional issues I think will be in the forefront this year. Water… Read More →

December 19, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week I spoke to a full house at the Swisher County Ag Day in Tulia about Texas Water Law and the major ag law issues to watch in 2015.  Thanks to County Extension Agent John Villalba for the invitation and opportunity to speak.  To those of you joining the blog from Swisher County, welcome!  This is our last weekly round up post of the year!  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. * 5th Circuit Refuses to Reconsider Aransas Project v. Shaw.  Earlier this week, the 5th Circuit… Read More →

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 →