St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana is home to Lake Pontchartrain, more than 6,000 businesses, and forests owned in part by timber company Weyerhaeuser. It is not, however, home to the dusky gopher frog, a species that was designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2001. 

With only 150 dusky gopher frogs remaining in the wild, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is seeking to expand its habitat into new areas in order to facilitate its recovery, including forestland owned by Weyerhaeuser and other private individuals. Can the Service designate privately owned land as critical habitat when said property is neither habitat nor essential to species conservation? Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation explores species conservation and the Endangered Species Act in Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Oral argument is October 1, 2018.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.

Jonathan Wood and the Pacific Legal Foundation represent the petitioner, Weyerhaeuser, in this case. Learn more about Jonathan Wood:

Follow Jonathan Wood on Twitter: @Jon_C_Wood 


Differing Views:

The Federalist Society Teleforum: “Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service”

SCOTUSblog: “Argument preview: Justices to consider critical-habitat designation for endangered frog” 

The Hill: “Endangered frog’s survival depends on making landowners friends not foes”

Property and Environment Research Center: “If a Frog Had Wings, Would It Fly to Louisiana?”