In a long overdue and welcome development, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has finally proposed to delist the beetle from the Endangered Species Act. This finding is a direct result of the lawsuit that PLF filed on behalf of landowners, farm bureaus, and flood districts in the Sacramento Valley who have been burdened for decades by ESA protections afforded the beetle. PLF filed its delisting petition in 2010, based on the Service’s own 2006 status review, which determined that the beetle’s listing is no longer warranted. After two lawsuits to force the Service to act on PLF’s petition, we have finally today the agency’s proposal to delist, the gist of which is that there are more beetles and more suitable habitat than previously thought, and that the bug is likely to persist for the foreseeable future.
Today’s action is not the end of the story, however, because it is just a proposal to delist. Under the Act, the Service now has another year to decide whether to finalize the delisting proposal. You can be sure that PLF and its clients will be watching closely to ensure that the Service makes this delisting in a timely fashion.