AUSTIN—Today, the Fifth Circuit Court released its opinion in Texas General Land Office v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fifth Circuit Court found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to deny the delisting petition of the golden-cheeked warbler was based on an incorrect legal standard and sent the petition back to Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate it under the correct legal standard.

“Today’s unanimous decision by the Fifth Circuit panel is a big win for private property rights in Texas,” said Robert Henneke, general counsel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The most recent, credible science demonstrates that the golden-cheeked warbler has recovered and should no longer be regulated under the Endangered Species Act.”

“According to a 2015 study of the species by the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, the warbler is 19 times greater in population and has 5 times as much habitat as when first listed,” Henneke said. “Yet, it has remained under perpetual regulation by the federal government. Today’s Opinion holds the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service accountable to following the law and provides hope that this regulatory burden of the warbler listing will soon be lifted from the backs of property owners across Texas.”

TPPF was supported on appeal by amicus briefs filed by Texas Senator Donna Campbell, American Stewards for Liberty, and the Texas Attorney General.

Read the Fifth Circuit Court’s Opinion in Full: https://files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2020/01/15115042/2020.01.15-Opinion.pdf