Farmers and ranchers lease federally managed land to raise their flocks and herds, and ultimately to feed millions of Americans. They pay large sums of money to lease those grazing lands. Some American Indian tribe members are claiming the right to hunt on the land the government leases to farmers and ranchers in the state of Wyoming, even though it’s a clear violation of their tribal treaty with the United States.
In 1988, the FWS listed as endangered the Bee Creek Cave Harvestman, a cave-dwelling spider found only in subterranean limestone caves in Travis and Williamson Counties, Texas. When the federal government bars use of private property to protect species that are found only in a local area and not throughout the country, it violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
Our client Mary A. Thoman, a Wyoming rancher whose family has raised sheep in western Wyoming for nearly seven decades, had to give up her family grazing land after her livestock losses to the grizzly bear became too great. One of her ranch hands was nearly killed in an attack. A judge put the bear back on the endangered species list—contrary to the recommendation of 20 years of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research and the pleas of ranchers and citizens of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This makes it impossible for local and state officials to manage the growing grizzly population, and virtually guarantees more loss and death.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, without obtaining a permit, and over the objections of a hydrological expert, diverted a stream that flowed through the land owned by a small church, headed by Pastor Victor Fuentes. The resulting flooding destroyed the property, and the bureaucrats who did this think no one will hold them accountable.
One protection afforded small businesses from overly burdensome federal regulations is the requirement that agencies consider the economic impact of regulations on small businesses; however, no such analysis was done regarding the “waters of the United States” rules issued by the Obama administration.
Case Summary The greater sage-grouse is not on the Endangered Species Act list. Nevertheless, the government is using the bird to illegally restrict mining in ten states and has recommended banning mining on more than ten million acres of land in the West. Case History The greater sage-grouse is the largest grouse species in North…