Posts tagged Court Decisions.
Posted in Court Decisions

On December 26, 2012, in Strahan v. Roughead (pdf), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied a motion brought by federal defendants to dismiss as moot plaintiffs’ claims that the Navy is operating vessels in a manner that takes listed whales in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and failing to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the impacts of such operations in violation of section 7 of the ESA. The pro se plaintiff is alleging that the Navy, through the operation of its vessels and its military ...

On December 4, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho denied a request to amend its previous order reversing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) 2009 Final Rule listing the slickspot peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Plaintiffs sought to reverse the court's August 2012 decision (pdf) to vacate the Service's determination in order to allow the listing to remain in place pending additional review.

The ESA defines "threatened" as "likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On November 30, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held (pdf) that because the National Marine Fisheries Service had considered the economic impacts of designating certain areas as critical habitat for the threatened green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), the Service complied with its obligations under section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act. 

Section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act states:

The Secretary shall designate critical habitat, and make revisions thereto, . . . on the basis of the best ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon dismissed claims brought by environmental organizations under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prevent unlawful take of marbled murrelets (brachyramphus marmoratus). Cascadia Wildlands v. Kitzhaber, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166966, at *2 (D. Or. Nov. 27, 2012) (pdf). Plaintiffs alleged that defendants, including individual members of the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Land Board, violated the ESA by (1) authorizing timber sales on specific tracts of forestland, (2) approving forest ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Last week, environmental advocacy groups celebrated a victory in a decade-long fight over the proper balance between agricultural and environmental interests in the Pacific Northwest. On October 1, in Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides v. EPA, the federal district court for the Western District of Washington denied the defendant’s effort to dismiss the lawsuit thereby permitting plaintiffs' citizen suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to move forward. (A .pdf copy of the court's decision is ...

Posted in Court Decisions

 In a 2-1 decision (pdf), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently upheld the decision of the Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the West Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus). The lower court held that the Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by removing the species from the list of endangered and threatened species despite the fact that several Recovery Plan Criteria had not been satisfied. In its decision, the D.C. Circuit held that [a] plan is a statement of intention, not a contract, and that [i]f the plan ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has granted (pdf) a motion by appellees to dismiss an appeal pursued by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other organizations from an interim order enjoining one component of a reasonable and prudent alternative imposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service on operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.  The order, which we reported on here, enjoined implementation of a water management action, referred to as the Fall X2 Action, which requires a combination of reservoir releases upstream from the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In a recent decision (pdf), the United States District Court for the District of Idaho remanded a determination (pdf) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list slickspot peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum), a small, flowering plant in the mustard family, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The controversy  over the listing of the species has spanned more than a decade, resulting in numerous Service determinations and court orders.

Slickspot peppergrass is only found in portions of Idaho.  Idaho's Governor, Butch Otter, and others brought the case challenging the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2-1 decision (pdf) affirming a lower court holding that plaintiff environmental groups lacked standing to challenge the renewal of certain water contracts by the Bureau of Reclamation and that other contract renewals by the Bureau were not subject to consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act because the renewals constituted non-discretionary actions outside the scope of the consultation requirement.

At issue in the case was the renewal of water contracts between the Bureau and two sets of ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On June 12, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision (pdf) upholding the listing of the shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphyrhynchus platorynchus) as a threatened species, although it is by all accounts thriving, and upheld a partial ban on commercial fishing of the shovelnose sturgeon, despite the lack of a similar ban on recreational fishing.  The Court upheld the foregoing actions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) because the shovelnose sturgeon is almost identical in appearance to the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus ...

Posted in Court Decisions

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision (pdf) denying the motion of plaintiff environmental groups for a preliminary injunction to halt lethal removal of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from the Columbia River to reduce predation pressure on salmonids as they migrate past the Bonneville Dam.  The decision is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute over efforts to protect salmon runs in the Columbia River system.

The States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho applied for and obtained authorization from the National ...

Posted in Court Decisions

In Conservation Congress v. Finley, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61634 (May 2, 2012), plaintiffs challenge agency decisions that authorize the Beaverslide Timber Sale and Fuel Treatment Project located in the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California on the grounds the project violates the Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act, and National Forest Management Act.  Among other things, plaintiffs allege that the Forest Service unlawfully failed to reinitiate consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service under section 7(a)(2) of the ESA ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order (pdf) denying cross motions for summary judgment in a case brought by plaintiffs suing the City and County of San Francisco over the management of Sharp Park Golf Course, which San Francisco owns but which is located in the City of Pacifica in San Mateo County, California.  At issue in the case is whether San Francisco’s management of the golf course violates the take prohibition of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Previously, we posted a blog describing plaintiffs' unsuccessful attempt to ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a decision (pdf) denying a request by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to enjoin the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from providing flood insurance, either directly or through third-party entities, for any new development in certain jurisdictions in the Puget Sound area until the case is resolved on the merits.  We blogged about the case previously, here.  NWF filed the case against FEMA for failure to fully implement the reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) that ...

Posted in Court Decisions

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler of the District of Columbia invalidated regulations designed to streamline the consultation process required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in preparing fire management plans. The judge found (pdf) that there was no evidence in the record that the ESA consultation process actually resulted in any delay to any National Fire Plan project.

The regulations were originally issued in 2003 (pdf) by six federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service, the Bureau of ...

The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a decision (pdf) granting the dismissal of criminal charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) based upon a finding that the MBTA was not intended to criminalize incidental "take" of migratory birds by lawful commercial activities.  The United States had charged seven oil and gas companies operating in North Dakota's Williston Basin (Defendants) with violating the MBTA by "taking" migratory birds after they were found dead in or near the companies' oil reserve pits.

The Government's case against each defendant was similar.  Defendants operated oil reserve pits on their respective sites.  Under North Dakota law, a "reserve pit" is "an excavated area used to contain drill cuttings accumulated during oil and gas drilling operations and mud-laden oil and gas drilling fluids used to confine oil, gas, or water to its native strata during the drilling of an oil and gas well."  North Dakota state sets forth requirements for operation and remediation of reserve pits.  Notably, state law did not require the fencing, screening, or netting of a reserve pit unless the pit was not reclaimed in excess of 90 days after the company's completion of operations.  On separate occasions, agents for the Government observed and collected dead birds at or near Defendants' reserve pits.

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order (pdf) denying a motion for preliminary relief filed by plaintiffs suing the City and County of San Francisco over the management of Sharp Park Golf Course, which San Francisco owns but which is located in the City of Pacifica in San Mateo County, California. At issue in the case is whether San Francisco’s management of the golf course violates the take prohibition of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Plaintiffs sought an injunction that would substantially restrict activities necessary to ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently decided (pdf) cross motions for summary judgment in a challenge to a biological opinion (BiOp) and reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) in favor of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  In the BiOp and RPA, which NMFS developed at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and after consultation with that agency, NMFS evaluated the effects of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion on 27 species of Pacific salmonids.  Plaintiffs argued that the BiOp and RPA were unlawful – in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) – in a number of respects.  But the court rejected each claim and consistently deferred to NMFS as the expert agency charged with implementation of the ESA.

Plaintiffs claimed that NMFS improperly employed and relied on two models.  NMFS utilized results from application of the models to predict pesticide levels in streams that support the listed salmonids.  With respect to the use of one of the models by NMFS, the court opined that there seems to be a reasonable difference of opinion regarding whether the model accurately predicts pesticide concentrations.  But the court stated that it is not within the purview of this Court to weigh the evidence supporting [ ] extremely divergent scientific opinions and decide which of them is correct.  It appears though that, when the court held for NMFS on this issue, it may have been influenced by its view that the ultimate outcome would not differ across a range of predicted pesticide levels.

Posted in Court Decisions

Today, on October 31, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States denied (pdf) review of a constitutional challenge to water delivery regulations regarding the Central Valley Project and California State Water Project intended to protect the threatened delta smelt. The petition for writ of certiorari was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Stewart & Jasper Orchards, and asserted that application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the delta smelt, a noncommercial fish that is only found in California, is an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power under ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On September 30, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California upheld (pdf) a decision of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to approve management measures developed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in conjunction with the Council's decision to open the commercial and recreational fishery for Fall-run Chinook salmon in the Central Valley for the 2011 season.  The NMFS decision had been challenged by the San Joaquin River Group Authority, a California joint powers authority made up of member agencies that own or operate ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 279-page memorandum decision (pdf) on cross-motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases involving challenges to the June 4, 2009 biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the effects of continued operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California on five listed fish species. The court considered dozens of claims advanced by plaintiffs and held for plaintiffs in whole or in part with respect to about half of the claims while ...

Posted in Court Decisions

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 ...

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a decision (pdf) invalidating the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) 2008 and 2010 biological opinions for operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation after the parties to the litigation challenging those decisions filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The court held that NMFS improperly made a no jeopardy determination with respect to certain listed salmonids on the basis of unidentified habitat mitigation measures.

The ...

On July 22, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) erred when it designated 143 acres of private property as critical habitat for the endangered San Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta sandiegonensis) based on a single observation of the shrimp on the property in 2001.

The question presented in Otay Mesa Property L.P. v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, No. 10-5204, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 14998 (D.C. Cir. July 22, 2011) was quite narrow: whether a single confirmed sighting of the endangered fairy shrimp in a ...

In a decision that addresses a number of the more difficult issues the federal wildlife agencies grapple with during the section 7 consultation process, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona recently struck down (pdf) a biological opinion (pdf) issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service for ongoing operations at Fort Huachuca that affect species in the upper San Pedro River area of southeastern Arizona. The court also held that the Department of the Army violated its section 7 obligation by relying on the legally flawed biological opinion.

Fort Huachuca is a major military base in southeastern Arizona. Base operations affect two listed species, the endangered Huachuca water umbel (Lilaeopsis schaffneriana ssp. recurva) and the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). The court identified two categories of impacts to the species: direct and indirect effects of activities within the Fort’s boundaries and indirect effects on a portion of the San Pedro River including groundwater and surface water consumption.

Posted in Court Decisions

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has authorized (pdf) the states of Washington and Oregon to lethally remove California sea lions that eat thousands of endangered salmon and steelhead just below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. According to NMFS, the small number of sea lions that prey on salmon and steelhead listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have a significant effect on the ability of the fish stocks to recover. While the population of California sea lions is considered healthy and stable, the population of salmon and steelhead ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On April 20, 2011, the San Francisco Superior Court issued a peremptory writ of mandate (PDF) enjoining the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) from implementing a pilot program to facilitate recovery of the Klamath Basin coho salmon (Coho) and compliance by farmers with the DFG's Lake and Streambed Alteration Program (referred to as the Shasta Valley and Scott River Watershed-Wide Permitting Programs).

In March 2005, the California Fish and Game Commission listed the Coho as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  Therefore, the taking of Coho is illegal without authorization from DFG.

Posted in Court Decisions

On February 11, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded (pdf) the decision of a lower court, finding that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's implementation of a reasonable and prudent alternative may have resulted in a taking requiring just compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Pursuant to congressional authorization issued in 1902 and 1905, the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) manages and operates the Klamath Irrigation Project (Klamath Project), which provides water to approximately 240,000 acres of irrigable crop land, as well as to several national wildlife refuges in southern Oregon and Northern California.

Posted in Court Decisions

As reported by The Sacramento Bee, on April 5, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California approved (pdf) a stipulated settlement agreement (pdf), over the objections of intervenors, potentially ending the ongoing dispute over the alleged impacts of striped bass predation on listed salmonids and delta smelt.  (The Sacramento Bee, April 6, 2011, by Matt Weiser)  

In 2008, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Game ("Department") alleging that the enforcement of the striped bass sport-fishing regulations ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the regulation of water deliveries from the State Water Project and Central Valley Project to protect the threatened delta smelt did not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.  San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Salazar, No. 10-19152 (9th Cir. March 25, 2011). 

The decision is the latest in a series of decisions by the federal appellate courts rejecting Commerce Clause challenges to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The court concluded that the protection of endangered and threatened species (including ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld a decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service to exclude an area from the designation of critical habitat for the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow in Florida.  Center For Biological Diversity v. Salazar (D.D.C. Mar. 16, 2011) (PDF).  While conceding that the excluded area was essential to the sparrow’s conservation, the Service decided not to designate the area as critical habitat, in part, because of the conflict between critical habitat and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project. 

The court ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On March 2, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service ("Service") regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") reregistration of pesticides is immediately reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act, reversing a lower court decision.  Dow Agrosciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Service, Case No. 09-1968 (pdf). 

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA") establishes specific requirements prior to EPA's registration ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On February 25, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California entered a stipulated order (pdf) establishing operational criteria for the Central Valley Project and State Water Project through June 30, 2011, in lieu of the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative prescribed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2008 biological opinion (pdf) regarding the effects of the Water Projects on delta smelt.  The settlement that led to the order received widespread media attention, including this story by Reuters.  The memorandum decision of the court holding that ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied (pdf) two petitions that sought to have the Court resolve a Circuit split regarding the evaluation of economic impacts of critical habitat designations under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The Court’s action leaves in place two recent decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding the use of the so-called baseline methodology by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service").  Under the baseline methodology, the Service restricts the evaluation of economic impacts of a potential critical habitat ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On January 20, 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") proposed (pdf) to settle another lawsuit challenging its implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program ("Program"), agreeing to consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (the "Wildlife Agencies") regarding the Program's potential impacts on five species of sea turtles listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. 

The Program, which is administered by FEMA, enables property owners in participating communities to purchase flood insurance ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On December 14, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 225 page decision (pdf) granting in part plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment in The Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, No. 09-407 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2010).  The matter consists of five consolidated actions that all challenge the December 2008 biological opinion, jeopardy and adverse modification determinations, and reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) for continued operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) issued by the Fish and ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Wild Fish Conservancy v. Salazar, issued a decision (pdf) remanding a 2008 biological opinion for the operation of a hatchery for spring-run Chinook salmon to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).  At issue in the biological opinion was the ongoing operation of the hatchery and its effects on the threatened bull trout due to the presence of a number of barriers to fish passage in Icicle Creek, which is in the Columbia River watershed.  The Service issued the biological opinion following intra-agency consultation, since ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit amended an opinion it filed earlier this year in Butte Environmental Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we wrote about here.  The case concerns a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) finding that a proposed business park would not adversely modify the critical habitat of three listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While the Ninth Circuit did not change its holding from the June opinion (PDF), it did clarify previous dicta concerning the Service’s analysis of adverse modification ...

The United States District Court for the District of Montana issued a decision (PDF) setting aside the 2009 Final Rule (PDF) that delisted the distinct population segment (DPS) of the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains, except in Wyoming.  The court found that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not allow the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to divide a DPS into a smaller taxonomy. 

The gray wolf was listed as endangered under the ESA in 1974.  The Service subsequently developed a wolf recovery plan, and the gray wolf was reintroduced in the northern Rockies in the mid-1990s.  ...

Posted in Court Decisions

The United States District Court for the District of Montana issued a decision (PDF) on July 27, 2010, in which it held that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when those agencies issued an Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant Impact, and biological opinions for the use of chemical fire retardant to fight wildfires on Forest Service lands.  The decision is described in this article.

In 2003, the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics filed a lawsuit challenging the Forest Service’s use of chemical fire retardant. The court granted summary judgment for plaintiffs on the grounds that federal defendants had failed to comply with NEPA and the ESA. Eventually, the Forest Service issued its Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) pursuant to NEPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service issued their biological opinions pursuant to the ESA.  In response the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics filed another lawsuit.

Posted in Court Decisions

The California Court of Appeal’s First Appellate District issued a decision affirming the lower court in a case of first impression regarding the interpretation of the term person in the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The issue presented to the court was whether the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is a person for the purpose of CESA. The court held that a state agency is a ‘person’ within the meaning of section 2080, which prohibits any ‘person’ from taking an endangered or threatened species without appropriate permit authority from the ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On May 27, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued findings of fact and conclusions of law (PDF) regarding Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in The Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, No. 09-407 (E.D. Cal. May 27, 2010).  The matter consists of five consolidated actions that all challenge the December 2008 biological opinion, jeopardy and adverse modification determinations, and reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) for continued operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On May 17, 2010, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved a stipulated injunction and order submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity ("CBD") and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") establishing, among other things, an immediate prohibition on the use of certain pesticides in and around the greater San Francisco Bay area, and a series of deadlines for the EPA to make "effects determinations" and, as necessary, initiate consultations under the Endangered Species Act. 

EPA is responsible ...

Posted in Court Decisions

On May 18, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued findings of fact and conclusions of law (PDF) regarding Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in The Consolidated Salmonid Cases, No. 09-1053 (E.D. Cal. May 18, 2010).  The matter consists of seven consolidated actions that all challenge the June 2009 biological opinion, jeopardy and adverse modification determinations, and reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) for continued operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The CVP and SWP provide water for approximately 25 million Californians.

Plaintiffs challenged the implementation of two components of the RPA developed by NMFS, RPA Actions IV.2.1 and IV.2.3. Action IV.2.1 imposes minimum San Joaquin River inflow requirements in conjunction with maximum permissible exports (i.e., a 4 to 1 ratio between inflow and exports) and is effective April 1 to May 31.  Action IV.2.3 limits Old and Middle river flows to no more negative than -2,500 to -5,000 cfs, depending on juvenile entrainment levels, and is effective January 1 to June 15 or until a temperature trigger is hit at Mossdale (a location on the San Joaquin River).

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a decision (PDF) granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by adopting and implementing NMFS' biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternatives regarding the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California.

The NMFS biological opinion (PDF), which covers five listed anadromous and ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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