Ninth Circuit Rules that Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan Does Not Constitute a “Rule” that May Be Challenged in Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) correctly denied the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition for rulemaking (PFR) seeking to expand the FWS grizzly bear recovery plan. The court decided that a recovery plan is not an agency “rule” that may be amended through the PFR process, and that even if it was, FWS refusal to grant the PFR does not constitute a “final agency action” that may be challenged in court.