Description: Challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision not to conduct a comprehensive status review for the Yellowstone bison.
Buffalo Field Campaign v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/31/2018 Memorandum Opinion Download Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment granted. Federal Court Ordered New Evaluation of Petition to List Yellowstone Bison Under Endangered Species Act. The federal district court for the District of Columbia directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct a new 90-day finding on whether the Yellowstone bison population should be added to the list of endangered and threatened species. The petitions to list the bison population had identified multiple threats to the bison’s survival, including climate change. The court said the FWS applied an improperly heightened standard in its 90-day evaluation because it discounted a scientific study that supported the petition for listing without providing a reason for its rejection of the study. 08/04/2017 Reply Download Reply filed by federal defendants in support of cross-motion for summary judgment. 07/07/2017 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed in support of federal defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment and in response to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. 06/09/2017 Motion for Summary Judgment Download Motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiffs. Plaintiffs Said Fish and Wildlife Service Misconstrued Evidence of Potential Climate Change Impacts on Yellowstone Bison in Rejecting Listing Petition. Plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment in their lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Columbia claiming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had improperly decided not to conduct a comprehensive status review of the Yellowstone bison pursuant to the ESA. The plaintiffs argued that FWS’s 90-day finding on their petition to list the Yellowstone bison distinct population segment did not follow the statutory requirements of the ESA, misconstrued and was often contrary to the evidence before the agency, failed to use the best available science, and was not supported by an explanation of FWS’s underlying analysis or rationale. The plaintiffs argued, among other things, that FWS had misstated and misconstrued evidence in their petition regarding climate change’s potential large-scale impacts on bison dispersal patterns. The plaintiffs said climate change could pose risks to the demographic and genetic composition and integrity of the Yellowstone bison, which the plaintiffs asserted were the only significant population of non-hybridized bison.