WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Three nonprofit organizations in California are seeking to enjoin regulatory burdens on the owners of land designated as critical amphibian habitat in 2016.

California Cattlemen’s Association, California Wool Growers Association and the California Farm Bureau Federation filed a complaint on July 31 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against United States Fish and Wildlife Service; United States Department of the Interior; Ryan Zinke, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Interior; Greg Sheehan, in his official capacity as Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging a failure to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

According to the complaint, 1.8 million acres in 16 California counties have been designated as a critical habitat for three amphibian species. The plaintiffs allege that the RFA requires a federal agency to conduct a detailed Regulatory Flexibility Analysis but the United States Fish and Wildlife Service claims it is exempt from providing this analysis.

The plaintiffs seek declaration that the designation of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act is not categorically exempt, enjoin its enforcement against small entities, all legal fees, and any other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Jonathan Wood of Pacific Legal Foundation in Arlington, Virginia and M. Reed Hopper of Pacific Legal Foundation in Bellevue, Washington.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:17-cv-01536-CRC

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