August 18, 2006 – The Palouse Prairie Foundation, Palouse Audubon Society, Friends of the Clearwater, and three individuals petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the giant Palouse earthworm as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
August 27, 2007 – The Center prepared and filed with the petitioners a notice of intent to sue the Service for its failure to respond to the petition.
October 30, 2007 – After the Service released a finding that a 2006 petition contained insubstantial information to warrant an endangered listing for the earthworm, the Center and petitioners notified the Service that they would sue to ensure that the species receives the protection it deserves.
January 24, 2008 – The Center, Palouse Prairie Foundation, Palouse Audubon, Friends of the Clearwater, and two individuals filed suit against the Service to overturn the agency's decision that the earthworm did not warrant protection.
February 12, 2009 – The court ruled against the giant Palouse earthworm, declaring that the Fish and Wildlife Service had “acted reasonably” in denying protection to the earthworm because “there is little direct evidence” about the species and its plight.
June 30, 2009 – The Center, Friends of the Clearwater, Palouse Prairie Foundation, Palouse Audubon and the Palouse Group of the Sierra Club petition the Service a second time to list the giant Palouse earthworm under the Endangered Species Act.
June 2010 – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's 2009 decision not to grant the species protection. Meanwhile, the Center waited for a federal-government response to our new listing petition, due that summer.
July 19, 2010 – In response to our second petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the giant Palouse earthworm may warrant protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
October 27, 2010 – Since the Service had still not moved forward on protecting the earthworm, we filed a notice of intent to sue.