Endangered Species

SMW represents government agencies and environmental groups seeking to ensure compliance with the federal and California Endangered Species Acts (ESA). The firm is experienced in ESA enforcement litigation and in the drafting and implementation of habitat conservation plans (HCPs), conservation easements, and management plans. We have developed numerous innovative public and private financing mechanisms for the acquisition and long-term management of critical habitat. Examples of the firm’s endangered species work include:

photo courtesy of Richard D. Bartlett
Scott Bar Salamander
  • Headwaters Forest: The firm represented the State of California in negotiations over the purchase and protection of the Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County and the development of an HCP covering 200,000 acres.
  • Friends of the Eel River: The firm represents the environmental group in a variety of efforts geared at protecting and restoring Coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead threatened by a hydroelectric dam, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings and federal court litigation.
  • Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA): The firm is assisting SAFCA to develop and implement the habitat creation, enhancement and preservation component and the associated conservation strategy for its Levee Improvement Program in the 53,000-acre Natomas Basin in northern Sacramento and southern Sutter Counties.
  • Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center: The firm successfully brought suit against the California Department of Fish and Game to restore California ESA protections to the endangered Scott Bar Salamander.