Defenders of Wildlife v. Babbitt
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
130 F. Supp. 2d 121 (2001)
Defenders of Wildlife (the defenders) (plaintiff) sued the Department of the Interior (defendant), claiming that the recovery plan of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for endangered Sonoran pronghorn (the pronghorn) did not comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because the plan did not (1) describe site-specific management actions to conserve the species; (2) establish objective, measurable criteria for delisting the species (i.e., for determining the species was no longer endangered or threatened); or (3) provide estimates of the time required to achieve recovery and delisting. The plan included four categories of recovery: establishing and monitoring new herds; continued monitoring of the existing population; verification of the species’ taxonomic status; and a recovery goal of 300 adults, which would have changed the species from endangered to threatened. Each category included a list of specific tasks. The FWS provided an implementation schedule with estimated time frames for five of 23 specific tasks. The plan was to be reviewed annually and every five years. The defenders argued that the site-specific goals lacked specificity and that the FWS failed to plan for fully delisting the species and failed to establish estimated time frames as required under the ESA.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Huvelle, J.)
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