Wildlife and Conservation REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

WilmerHale offers exceptional legal and strategic advice regarding all aspects of wildlife protection and mitigation, including the regulation of threatened and endangered species and their habitats.


Clients rely on the experience and insight of our team for counseling on conservation and wildlife protection regulations. From the outset, our lawyers advise on all relevant regulatory requirements, ensuring that businesses and developers are able to move forward with projects in a compliant, strategic and efficient manner. Our team includes former senior government officials who oversaw agencies responsible for species and habitat protection, including the Department of the Interior, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service, as well as various conservation organizations, and we have extensive experience working with state regulatory agencies that oversee wildlife protection. We have successfully represented a variety of clients in matters arising under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, including regulatory and permitting proceedings impacting wildlife. 

Contacts

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Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Rachel Jacobson

Rachel Jacobson

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6385 (t)

rachel.jacobson@wilmerhale.com

Sarah Judkins

Sarah C. Judkins

Senior Associate

+1 720 274 3158 (t)

sarah.judkins@wilmerhale.com

Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Partner

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch

Partner

+1 617 526 6779 (t)

rob.kirsch@wilmerhale.com

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis

Partner

+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

frederic.louis@wilmerhale.com

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff

Partner

+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

john.ratliff@wilmerhale.com

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross

Partner

+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

lester.ross@wilmerhale.com

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar

Partner

+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Seyfarth, Martin

Martin Seyfarth

Partner

+49 30 20 22 64 30 (t)

martin.seyfarth@wilmerhale.com

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Partner

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Experience

  • Providing legal and strategic advice to a mining company proposing a historic two-million-acre landscape-level conservation plan in light of the potential listing by the FWS of the greater sage-grouse under the ESA.
  • Preparing a habitat conservation plan and advising on NEPA compliance in support of an incidental take permit for a significant redevelopment site located in Florida.
  • Counseling a ski area developer on compliance issues arising from the designation of a critical habitat under the ESA.
  • Representing a US state in a quasi-judicial proceeding involving the proposed sale of a nuclear power plant for the purposes of decommissioning and site restoration, and providing advice and counsel on related impacts to species in the Connecticut River ecosystem.
  • Counseling a leading clean energy company on compliance with the ESA (including the Section 7 consultation process), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act related to the development of numerous energy projects on public lands.
  • Advising a power and light utility company on environmental and regulatory issues associated with the FWS's inclusion of a “fishway prescription” in a relicensing order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an existing hydropower facility.
  • Representing an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline developer in ensuring compliance with Section 9 of the ESA, and counseling on federal and state protections that apply to endangered plants.
  • Submitting comments on behalf of a transmission project developer in connection with proposed amendments to a national marine sanctuary designation.
  • Conducting due diligence to identify and estimate liabilities arising under state and federal wildlife laws associated with the proposed purchase and sale of clean energy projects across the United States.
  • Advising energy businesses on legal strategies to prevent the listing of endangered species and designation of a critical habitat in Alaska.
  • Overseeing implementation by a major US oil and gas producer of wetland and stream restoration and mitigation under a consent decree pursuant to the Clean Water Act.