The builders and NAHB challenged the FWS’ initial action and, in 2002, won a court decision that could have led to scaling back the owls’ critical habitat area. Rather than comply with the lower court’s ruling, however, FWS countered with a proposal to add another 500,000 acres to the owls’ designated critical habitat area.
During the five-year legal battle, NAHB provided regulatory and legal assistance to the Southern Arizona builders. This included meeting with the builders on several occasions to develop the legal strategies that eventually led to last week’s circuit court victory. NAHB also gave the builders financial support in the District Court phase of the case when the builders challenged both the owls’ listing and habitat designation.
Last week's decision comes from a federal court that hears many of the nation’s environmental cases and is considered by many to rule more favorably for environmental than for community or business interests. The Ninth Circuit also is often considered a leader in environmental case law.
FWS may still appeal the latest ruling and the specifics of the case do not apply to all Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings. However, because of the Ninth Circuit Court’s stature in environmental cases, the decision could possibly influence similar cases involving species that have populations in U.S. states such as California, Texas, Oregon and Washington, as well as in Mexico or Canada.
The decision could also influence a different panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit that is hearing another listing case that is being contested by builders and NAHB. That case centers on several species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, and whether farm- or hatchery-grown salmon, as the Fish and Wildlife Service first claimed, should be part of an endangered species designation.
To read the NBN Online news story about the ruling, click here. For further information, read the NAHB press release and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.
Save on Dell® Computers
NAHB members, with all types and sizes of business, can save money on purchases of Dell computers and equipment through NAHB's Member Advantage discount program.
Take advantage of the Dell discount by calling 888-577-3355. Be sure to identify yourself as an NAHB member when you order. You can also learn more by clicking here. The discount will be automatically applied and will be reflected on your invoice. The NAHB discount cannot be combined with other Dell discounts or promotions.
To order online and for details on more than a dozen other money-saving Member Advantage discount programs click here, or send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to www.nahb.org to explore the numerous advantages associated with membership in your local, state and national home builders association.
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