U.S. Court: Fish and Wildlife OK to Ignore Own Rules in De-listing WV Northern Flying Squirrel
A federal appeals court has struck down a lower court ruling that had sided with environmental groups hoping to restore protected status to the West Virginia northern flying squirrel.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday ruled in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Five environmental groups had sued in 2009 after the federal agency took the squirrel off the endangered species list.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the agency wrongly ignored its own rules and effectively changed the recovery plan for the species without the required public-input process.
The appeals court disagreed in a 2-1 vote, saying that “a plan is a statement of intention, not a contract.“