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On June 18, 2004, the Defenders of Wildlife, a national organization that specializes in the protection of habitat for endangered species, notified key parties that it considers residential development of the Crow’s Nest peninsula a violation of the Endangered Species Act and a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The move signaled national recognition for saving Crow’s Nest, the close scrutiny of any efforts to develop the peninsula, and the potential for a lawsuit if development efforts move forward.

The organization served notice to Toll Brothers Inc (who then had a contract for the purchase of most of Crow’s Nest), Stafford Lakes Limited Partnership (the owner of the largest land parcels on Crow’s Nest), the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, and state and federal agencies.   The notice stated that development of the Crow’s Nest peninsula could subject Toll Brothers, Stafford Lakes LP and the Stafford County Board of Supervisors to enforcement action and a citizen lawsuit from Defenders of Wildlife.  The notice also stated that any development of the peninsula is subject to federal permitting under the Clean Water Act and the National Historic Preservation Act; such development must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act; and is subject to additional compliance requirements under state and local statutes.