Posts tagged "Wildlife"

Pepin, et al. v. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-027-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11332   WILLIAM PEPIN & another[1]  vs.  DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE.   Hampden.     October 8, 2013.  ‑  February 18, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Administrative Law, Agency’s authority, Agency’s interpretation of statute, Decision, Hearing, Proceedings before agency, Regulations, Summary decision.  Practice, Civil, Review of administrative action.  Regulation.  Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.  Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 1, 2009.   A motion for judgment on the pleadings was heard by C. Jeffery Kinder, J., and motions for summary judgment were heard by Constance M. Sweeney, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     William J. Murray for the defendant. Matthew C. Ireland, Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiffs. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Damien M. Schiff & Jonathan Wood, of California, & Donald R. Pinto, Jr. for Pacific Legal Foundation. Jason C. Rylander & Michael P. Senatore, of the District of Columbia, for Defenders of Wildlife & another. Jeffrey B. Augello & David S. Jaffe, of the District of Columbia, for National Association of Home Builders. Douglas H. Hallward-Driemeier, Jacob Scott, Jacob M. Heller, & Kevin P. Budris for Massachusetts Audubon Society & others.   Paul Peter Nicolai for Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts & another. Benjamin Fierro, III for Home Builders Association of Massachusetts, Inc. Ann M. Risso for Nature Conservancy.       LENK, J.  William and Marlene Pepin (petitioners) own approximately thirty-six acres of land in Hampden.[2]  Their ability to construct a home on this land is restricted by the property’s delineation as a “priority habitat” for the eastern box turtle, a “species of special concern” under 321 Code Mass. Regs. § 10.90 (2012).  The property has been so designated by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (division), a unit of the Department of Environmental Protection, pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, G. L. c. 131A, §§ 1-7 (MESA).   MESA authorizes the division to designate certain areas as “significant habitats” of endangered or threatened species.  G. L. c. 131A, § 4.  Development of land within significant habitats is sharply restricted.  See G. L. c. 131A, §§ 2-4.  The division also has promulgated regulations establishing a second type of protected habitat, denoted “priority habitat,” to protect species that are either […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

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