Endangered Species

Developing projects without properly addressing endangered species laws can be a costly, if not fatal, error. Proactive planning is key to containing costs, obtaining required approvals and enabling projects to proceed.

Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys have decades of experience addressing endangered species and other environmental regulatory challenges to public and private development. We are adept at managing the interplay of environmental laws, including the California and federal Endangered Species Acts, the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act, the federal Clean Water Act, state water quality laws and others. With long-standing, effective working relationships with the wildlife agencies that administer these laws, we have earned the respect of regulators and can streamline assessment reviews, approvals and permitting — speeding up the process and containing costs while assuring endangered species and their habitats are protected. 

Comprehensive Service
BB&K takes a proactive approach, evaluating each project and establishing a plan to assure timely project completion while avoiding surprises and minimizing the likelihood of legal or regulatory challenges. Our team represents clients throughout a project’s life, from pre-acquisition planning through completion, before regulatory bodies and in court when disputes arise. 

From single species, smaller-acreage residential and commercial development projects to many of the largest multi-species habitat conservation plans in the nation, including infrastructure, transportation, telecommunication, energy-related and facilities projects, BB&K leads the way. We help public agencies, including cities, counties and special districts, as well as developers, landowners and others in the private sector, develop, implement, strategize and manage species and habitat issues, and negotiate related agreements. 

We draft, review and obtain approval for conservation easements, assist with establishing and managing conservation banks for endangered species and sensitive habitats and negotiate transactional aspects of mitigation property acquisitions. Additionally, we regularly handle Section 7 formal consultations, assist in obtaining incidental take permits, navigate the biological opinion process, and advocate regarding proposed new species listings and critical habitat designations. 

Cutting-Edge Litigators
We are on the cutting edge in asserting our clients’ interests before various regulatory bodies and in courts, and as counsel for public agencies charged with ESA compliance. Our litigators have repeatedly prevailed in endangered species cases. 

  • Helped create habitat conservation projects that have ranged from a 10-acre property that harbors one species to some of the largest plans in the nation. The Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, for example, covers more than 1 million acres and protects nearly 150 species. Represented coalition of water agencies in endangered fish species litigation related to Delta water supplies.
  • Helped the City of Laredo, Texas obtain an ecosystem restoration contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $2.44 million contract was awarded to both Laredo and a private company as part of a cost-share partnership to restore and preserve part a swath of land along the Rio Grande river bend in Laredo.
  • After obtaining a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court allowing resource users in the Klamath Basin standing to challenge a biological opinion, BB&K won a summary judgment in the district court, resulting in one of the few published decisions overturning a biological opinion as “arbitrary and capricious.” 
  • Litigated a suit challenging the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s pattern and practice of disregarding economic impacts analysis when designating critical habitat.
Jason M. Ackerman

Jason M. Ackerman

Partner

(951) 826-8428

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | California Public Utilities Commission | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Steve M. Anderson

Steve M. Anderson

Partner

(951) 826-8279

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | General & Special Counsel | Special Districts | Water
Matthew Collins

Matthew Collins

Associate

(951) 826-8246

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Amanda E. Daams

Amanda E. Daams

Associate

(951) 826-8236

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Piero C. Dallarda

Piero C. Dallarda

Partner

(951) 826-8338

Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Special Districts
Sarah Christopher Foley

Sarah Christopher Foley

Associate

(213) 787-2560

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water | Water Quality | Water Rights
John D. Freshman

John D. Freshman

Senior Director of Governmental Affairs*

(202) 370-5301

Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Relations | Hazardous Waste | Water
Robert Hargreaves

Robert Hargreaves

Partner

(760) 837-1604

Areas of Focus: General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Renewable Energy | Water
Arthur L. Littleworth

Arthur L. Littleworth

Partner

(951) 826-8207

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Special Districts | Water Rights
Michelle Ouellette

Michelle Ouellette

Partner

(951) 826-8373

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Lindsay D. Puckett

Lindsay D. Puckett

Partner

(619) 525-1378

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Ward H. Simmons

Ward H. Simmons

Of Counsel

(951) 826-8366

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Roderick E. Walston

Roderick E. Walston

Of Counsel

(925) 977-3304

Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Water
Wendy Y. Wang

Wendy Y. Wang

Of Counsel

(213) 787-2554

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts | Water
Deborah A. Wordham

Deborah A. Wordham

Of Counsel

(213) 787-2542

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts | Water
Event Jun 15, 2017

Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District In Lieu Fee Program

CLE International's 4th Annual California Wetlands Conference

Partners Michelle Ouellette and Kelly Salt Named Top Women Lawyers
Press Releases May 25, 2017

Partners Michelle Ouellette and Kelly Salt Named Top Women Lawyers

Daily Journal’s Annual List of California’s Best Female Attorneys

Partner Lindsay Puckett Selected as a San Diego Daily Transcript 40 Under 40
Press Releases Apr 20, 2017

Partner Lindsay Puckett Selected as a San Diego Daily Transcript 40 Under 40

Annual List Lauds Young Professionals in the Community

Press Releases Jan 20, 2017

Southern California Super Lawyers 2017

Five BB&K Partners Receive Honor

Deborah Wordham Video Bio
Videos Nov 30, 2016

Deborah Wordham Video Bio

Of Counsel

Steve M. Anderson Video Bio
Videos Nov 18, 2016

Steve M. Anderson Video Bio

Partner

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs
Authored Articles & Publications Nov 9, 2016

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

The Struggle to Find Balance is Explored by BB&K Partner Gene Tanaka in Municipal Lawyer Magazine

Event Sep 29, 2016

Agua Caliente v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al.

Tribal Water Law's 5th Annual Conference

Event Sep 21, 2016

CLE Webinar: Conservation Easement Amendments

Strafford

Using Nature's Technology in Response to Drought
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Using Nature's Technology in Response to Drought

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Environmental Groups to Sue Fish & Wildlife Service Over Listing of 417 Species
Legal Alerts Aug 30, 2016

Environmental Groups to Sue Fish & Wildlife Service Over Listing of 417 Species

Development Projects in California May be Impacted

Event Jun 2, 2016

Endangered Species: Big Picture Overview

Law Seminars International Endangered Species in California

Partner Michelle Ouellette Honored with Prestigious ATHENA of Riverside Award
Press Releases May 24, 2016

Partner Michelle Ouellette Honored with Prestigious ATHENA of Riverside Award

The Award Recognizes Women for Their Professional Excellence, Community Service and Work Helping Other Women Achieve Their Full Potential

Shasta Lake Water Levels Subject of New Litigation
Legal Alerts Jan 21, 2016

Shasta Lake Water Levels Subject of New Litigation

Water Contractors Challenge SWRCB Order Potentially Restricting Water

Client Successes Oct 19, 2015

Critical Ecosystem Restoration Contract Secured by BB&K Team for Texas City

BB&K’s Gerard Lavery Lederer, John D. Freshman and Annick C. Miller Rivera teamed up to help secure contract

Event Oct 4-6, 2015

2015 IMLA Annual Conference

International Municipal Lawyers Association

BB&K In the News Sep 24, 2015

BB&K Files Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court in Threatened Santa Ana Sucker Case

A Team of BB&K Attorneys, Working pro Bono, Garnered Headlines This Week for Case of First Impression

Press Releases Sep 22, 2015

BB&K to File Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court in Threatened Santa Ana Sucker Case

Appeal Asks the High Court to Sort Out the Intersection of the Nation’s Endangered Species and Environmental Policy Laws

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater
BB&K In the News Jul 29, 2015

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater

BB&K Attorney Roderick Walston Represents a Water Supplier in a Case That Has Potentially Vast Impacts on Groundwater Rights. He Is Interviewed by Circle of Blue

BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Named a Top Woman Lawyer by the Daily Journal
Press Releases May 19, 2015

BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Named a Top Woman Lawyer by the Daily Journal

Her Environmental Litigation Work Earns Her a Place on the Prestigious List of 100 Women Lawyers

Press Releases Jan 22, 2015

Six BB&K Attorneys in San Diego Included on the 2015 List of San Diego Super Lawyers or Super Lawyer

Congratulations to These Attorneys

The Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan: Looking Forward After 10 Years
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 7, 2015

The Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan: Looking Forward After 10 Years

BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Co-Authors This Look at the Future of Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plans in the ABA’s Natural Resources & Environment Journal

Drought Spurs New Court Rulings, Legislation Governing State Water Rights
BB&K In the News Dec 30, 2014

Drought Spurs New Court Rulings, Legislation Governing State Water Rights

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses the Past and Future of Water in California in the Daily Journal

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