By 2012, the FWS had expanded the critical habitat to 4,933 acres in Mississippi – plus 1,544 acres in Louisiana – and changed the amphibian’s name to “dusky gopher frog,” to cover the new two-state status….
However, the frog has not been seen anywhere in Louisiana since 1965 – and the Louisiana … private lands are not now, and cannot be, critical habitat for this species.
FWS bureaucrats … simply decreed that the Louisiana landowners must transform their lands into appropriate habitat that would ensure dusky gopher frog survival – after some are transported to the new habitat – and must do so at their own expense…. millions of dollars in consulting fees and habitat transformation – on top of an estimated $34 million in foregone revenues…..
The landowners sued – and were rebuffed in court. The parties appealed, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-6 against rehearing the case….
The six dissenters presented compelling reasons why the majority was incorrect – and cited Supreme Court precedents upholding judicial review “for this exact statute” and reining in attempts to prevent judicial reviews of agency actions.
The plaintiffs and interveners have asked the Supreme Court to accept the Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service case for review. They are supported by amicus briefs from 18 states and multiple legal foundations and other parties….
If the high court lets the lower court rulings stand, the … FWS and other federal agencies will have unfettered discretion to interpret laws as they see fit, and impose significant costs on private landowners to advance agency agendas….
The future of our legislative, regulatory, judicial and private property rights system hangs in the balance.
Excerpted from Investors’ Business Daily; for the full article, click here.