The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has approved (pdf) two settlement agreements among environmental groups and the Fish and Wildlife Service to address a backlog of species that are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  One (pdf) of the agreements was entered into with Wildearth Guardians, and the second (pdf) was entered into with the Center for Biological Diversity.  On the same day that the Court entered the settlements, it issued a decision (pdf) and order denying a motion by a hunting group to intervene in the matter.  We previously reported on the litigation here and here.  As the Los Angeles Times reported, "[t]he court gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service four years to clear the backlog of more than 850 plant and animal species that are awaiting determinations and bogged down in various stages of the process" (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 9, 2011).