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.
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.
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.