Law Offices of Brian Gaffney APC litigates violations of the federal Endangered Species Act by federal agencies and private developers.

Under the federal Endangered Species Act, federal agencies must consult about the impacts of their proposed actions on listed species, and must reinitiate consultation when there’s changed circumstances. Also, individuals, corporations and government agencies must not kill a single listed species, or capture, harass or degrade the habitat such that species’ breeding, feeding or sheltering are impaired.

Representative litigation under the Endangered Species Act includes:

Pacificans for a Scenic Coast & Center for Biological Diversity v. Caltrans, 204 F.Supp.3d 1075 (N.D. California 2016). Caltrans and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Violated the ESA in Proposed Pacifica Highway Widening Project by Including as Mitigation a Parcel Previously Designated as Mitigation in Another Project.

EPIC v. Pacific Lumber Co. 67 F. Supp. 2d 1113 (N.D. California 1999). Federal court enjoined Pacific Lumber Company’s logging of 3 timber plans – pending Fish & Wildlife Service’s consideration of HCP “take” of Headwaters Forest’s endangered species and completion of Biological Opinion.

Marbled Murrelet v. Pacific Lumber Company, 880 F.Supp. 1343 (N.D. California 1995) affirmed by Marbled Murrelet v Babbitt, 83 F.3d 1060 (9th Circuit 1996). After week long trial, Pacific Lumber’s logging of the Owl Creek Grove permanently enjoined as a “take” of threatened marbled murrelets in violation of Section 9 of the ESA. First case in the nation to apply the ESA’s “take” prohibition to private lands.

San Bruno Mountain Watch v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, (N.D. Calif. #C00-02485 PJH.) Settlement required U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reinitiate ESA section 7 consultation to re-assess impacts to Mission blue butterfly, Callippe silverspot butterfly and San Bruno elfin butterfly from San Bruno Mountain section 10 Take Permit and HCP (Habitat Conservation Plan.) First case in the nation to challenge need for ESA consultation reinitiation regarding an HCP Plan.

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics v. EPA, (N.D. Calif. #C00-3150 CW.) Settlement required EPA to initiate ESA consultation on 15 pesticides’ impacts on 7 salmonid species and their critical habitat, and pesticides’ impacts on 33 forest plant species.