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Supreme Court agrees to hear frog habitat case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] on Monday in an environmental case.

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. US Fish & Wildlife Service [docket; cert. petition, PDF] concerns the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to preserve the the "dusky gopher frog."

Currently the dusky gopher frog has a critical habitat in areas of Mississippi, where it is located. However, the frog also has habitats set up in Louisiana, even though the frog does not currently occupy those habitats in Louisiana.

Weyerhaeuser filed this appeal after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] upheld [opinion, PDF] the government's regulation of the land in Louisiana for the protection of the dusky gopher frog despite the fact it does not reside in Louisiana currently and is highly unlikely to reside there in the foreseeable future. Weyerhaeuser argues that the decision is in error because (1) the Endangered Species Act [text, [PDF] prohibits the designation of private land as an unoccupied critical habitat that is not currently occupied nor is necessary to the species' preservation and (2) the agency's decision to designation the private land as a critical habit, which negatively impacts the price value of the land, is subject to judicial review.

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