News Desk

Utah Landowners Lose ESA Challenge on Appeal


The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2014 ruling that limited the ability of federal officials to use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect a species located in a single state. Utah landowners had challenged a US Fish and Wildlife Service regulation that prohibits trapping or shooting Utah prairie dogs as an unjustified burden, saying that the creatures were a nuisance. A three-judge panel disagreed, citing data that indicates 68 percent of the species the ESA protects live in only one state. In affirming the federal government’s broad power to protect threatened species, Judge Jerome Holmes wrote that “excising purely intrastate species would leave a gaping hole” in the Endangered Species Act.

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