Description: Lawsuit to compel compliance with a court order remanding a critical habitat rule for the Canada lynx in the United States.
WildEarth Guardians v. Williams
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/25/2022 Order Download Parties' settlement approved. Montana Federal Court Approved Settlement in Lynx Critical Habitat Case. The federal district court for the District of Montana approved a settlement agreement that set a timeline for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose and finalize a revised critical habitat rule for the threatened Canada lynx, a species whose population in the United States is threatened by climate change. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs sought to compel the FWS to comply with the court’s September 2016 order remanding a 2014 critical habitat rule. However, the FWS completed a Species Status Assessment (SSA) and determined in November 2017 that the lynx no longer warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act. The FWS therefore did not reevaluate critical habitat for the lynx after that time. The settlement agreement indicated that the FWS no longer intended to propose to delist the lynx and would instead reevaluate the 2014 critical habitat rule and also review and update its 2017 SSA. Pursuant to the settlement, the FWS will submit a proposed critical habitat rule to the Federal Register by November 21, 2024 and will submit a final rule within the statutory timeline. 04/15/2022 Settlement Agreement Download Joint motion for adoption of parties' stipulated settlement agreement filed. 07/01/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed to Compel Designation of Critical Habitat for Canada Lynx in the United States. A lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the District of Montana sought to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to comply with the court’s September 2016 order remanding a critical habitat rule for the Canada lynx, a species whose population in the United States is threatened by climate change. The 2016 order found that the critical habitat rule violated the Endangered Species Act, although it rejected the argument that the FWS was required to designate unoccupied habitat that could serve as climate change refugia in the future.