Ninth Circuit Holds Rulemaking Petition Regarding Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan is not Subject to Judicial Review

March 2023

Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 3, Number 6

A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on January 19, 2023, ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s denial of an environmental group’s petition to expand protected areas for endangered grizzly bears was not subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). In Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland the court held that a decision to not modify a recovery plan was not a “final agency action” subject to review, affirming, on different grounds, a Montana District Court’s summary judgement against the Center for Biological Diversity. Judge Sung wrote in dissent disagreeing with both the U.S. District Court’s and her colleagues’ reasoning.

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