Description: Lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's determination that designation of critical habitat for the rusty patch bumble bee would not be prudent and seeking to compel designation of critical habitat for the species.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/24/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Groups Sought Critical Habitat Designation for Climate-Threatened Rusty Patch Bumble Bee. Three organizations filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to designate critical habitat for the rusty patch bumble bee, which was listed as endangered in 2017. The plaintiffs alleged that the bee, “[o]nce common throughout the midwestern and northeastern United States, northward into Canada, the bee has disappeared from the vast majority of its native range and now stands on the brink of extinction, owing to habitat loss and destruction, pesticide use, disease, parasites, and climate change.” The plaintiffs asserted that the FWS’s reasons for determining that designation of critical habitat would not be prudent violated the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as FWS regulations. The FWS made its determination that designation would not be prudent after reaching a settlement in an earlier case with Natural Resource Defense Council in 2019 that set a schedule for a determination on critical habitat.