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Lawsuit Update and Newsletter: 4/1/15

Lawsuit Update

USARK has been diligently working on several aspects of our lawsuit regarding the injurious listing of eight species of constrictor snakes under the Lacey Act. As posted earlier, USARK sent a letter to FWS on March 16 requesting an extension of the effective date for the latest listing, which includes Reticulated pythons and Green anacondas. The Reptile Nation was only given 30 days from the federal register publishing of the finalized rule on March 10 before FWS enforces import and interstate transportation bans of the newly-listed species.

We received a response from FWS denying this extension request yesterday (3/31/15). This was expected and USARK has not simply been waiting around hoping FWS would grant an extension. In their response, FWS showed complete disregard for the majority of our letter.

Since we were expecting rejection from FWS, our preliminary injunction (PI) simply needed a quick edit to include mention of this denial letter. The PI was filed today (4/1/15) along with a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and proposed order to be signed by Judge Moss granting the TRO and motion for relief (or PI). The TRO will expedite the process. Judge Moss has already scheduled a conference with the attorneys to set a schedule for briefing the motion.

It would be an understatement to say the USARK complaint and motion for relief are strong. The Reptile Nation could not have a better case or team working on this lawsuit.

Since filing our complaint in late 2013, USARK has continued to build this case. This followed a document sent to FWS Director Dan Ashe and presented personally by USARK President Phil Goss and the USARK D.C. team to senior staff from the Department of the Interior (DOI) and FWS earlier in 2013. Among many other aspects, this document  highlighted faults with the agency's compliance with regulatory procedures and an overall lack of reasoned analysis.

Members of the Reptile Nation received validation of USARK's intention and competence to proceed with a lawsuit, if needed, in a newsletter following this 2013 meeting with the DOI and FWS:

"We oppose the listing of any of the remaining species and are committed to fighting any such restrictions with all of the resources at our disposal. Our legal case is strong and we fully intend to fight for the rights of our members to protect their freedom to engage in their passion." - USARK President Phil Goss (2013)

The strength of our case far surpasses impressive. USARK has worked tirelessly to build this formidable suit. The Reptile Nation can stand proudly and USARK appreciates your continued support.

Links to documents:

FWS Denial Letter: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/FWS-Denial-3.31.15.pdf

USARK Preliminary Injunction: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/USARK_Memoradum_of_Law_in_Support_of_PI-4.1.15.pdf

USARK TRO: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Motion-for-TRO-and-Relief-Pending-Review-4.1.15.pdf

USARK Proposed Order: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Proposed-Order-4.1.15.pdf

More RAACA Thanks
 
Thank you to ShipYourReptiles.com (SYR) who has provided shipping discounts for all RAACA auction events. This has saved shippers thousands of dollars and SYR also comped the extra administrative time. This is yet another donation to support the Reptile Nation from SYR. Thanks, ShipYourReptiles!

Another Thank You

Thanks to Michael Jacobi for presenting USARK with a nice donation following the fundraiser at the invertebrate talks held Friday night before NARBC Tinley Park. The invertebrate community held a raffle and the proceeds went to USARK as we also protect their interests as keepers. Thanks, Michael!

Donate to the USARK Legal Defense Fund

Information for making donations online and via check/money order can be found at www.usark.org/reptile-defense-fund-2/. You can make one-time, weekly, monthly or annual donations. You can also include a message that will be posted on the Legal Defense Fund Donor Wall at www.usark.org/usark-announcement/reptile-defense-donor-wall/ for all to see. You can even choose to make your donation or donation amount anonymous. Thanks for your support as we battle FWS to restore the freedoms of the Reptile Nation.


USARK Membership Shirts

We apologize for the delay on receiving shirts for those who recently joined USARK. We had an influx of new memberships and had to order shirts. Shirts will begin shipping next week. Thanks for your support and patience. If you would like to join, you may do so atwww.usark.org/membership-signup.

RAACA 2.0

There is a new anytime RAACA! Check out the format for listing auctions to benefit USARK via RAACA USARK Auctions at www.facebook.com/groups/1623588901209232/.These auctions will allow donations at any time and not just during scheduled fundraisers.

RAACA USARK Auctions raised over $2.500 during their first three weeks. Thank you, RAACA, Jordan, Tammy, Houssam, Christine, donors and all the admins in this group!

Article written by USARK