Texas Court Vacates ESA Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken as a Threatened Species


On September 1, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a ruling which vacates the April 2014 listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) as a threatened species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.  The case is Permian Basin Petroleum Association, et al. v. Department of the Interior, et al. The lawsuit challenging the listing was filed on June 9, 2014.  The plaintiffs argued, and the District Court agreed, that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was obliged to evaluate the LPC rangewide plan in accordance with the agency’s 2003 Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions, and it failed to do so.  Accordingly, the listing of the LPC was arbitrary and capricious, and must be vacated.