Paul Weiland Recognized as an Environmental MVP


Paul Weiland was profiled by Law360 after being selected as an MVP in the Environmental practice area (subscription required). Paul is a member of a small group of attorneys recognized nationally as Environmental MVPs by the publication.

The article highlights Paul’s work as "lead counsel representing a coalition of farm industry groups, [where he] successfully argued that the state of California cannot protect bees under the state's Endangered Species Act by classifying them as fish." The matter originated when environmental groups petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect bumblebees, and the commission accepted.

In his role, Paul helped farm industry groups argue that "California's Endangered Species Act doesn't allow the state to protect insects." Ultimately, the farm industry groups prevailed, as the Court ruled that bees were not safeguarded by California’s ESA definition of a fish.

Commenting on the matter, Paul said, "[O]ne of the practical challenges was the fact that state regulators sought to protect four types of bumblebees, when in reality there's far more bees in California. That can be particularly challenging for consumers who could risk engaging in illegal activity if they're, say, spraying their garden with liquid fertilizer and a listed bee is in their line of fire."

Law360 also highlighted Paul’s work as "species counsel for Siskiyou County for the Klamath Project," the largest proposed dam removal yet in the United States. In that role, the publication noted that Paul and his team "convinced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the license for the project should not be transferred from the electric power company PacifiCorp to the newly created Klamath River Renewal Corporation. That corporation was created to take over the dams, remove them, and then be dissolved."

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