The case is a win for homebuilders, farmers, and landowners.
On Nov. 27, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided to reverse Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will now be required to consider the economic impact to a landowner when including or excluding private property from a habitat designation.
This case is a win for homebuilders, farmers, and landowners across the country, says Karen Harned, Executive Director for the NFIB Legal Center.
“Before this decision, if you were a landowner, the Department of the Interior had the first and last word on any issue related to whether or not your land should be designated a critical habitat—a designation that significantly limits what you can do with your property,” Harned says. “Now, as a business owner, you have due process—you have a voice.”
Earlier this year, NFIB filed an amicus brief concluding that the judgment of the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services should be reversed. NFIB argued that due to government-imposed restrictions under the ESA, the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision denied small business landowners their common law right to use their lands productively due to ESA-imposed costs, which impaired small business owners from growing or expanding.
To learn more about the Supreme Court’s decision, visit the NFIB Legal Center.