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Weekly Cases Update Volume 46, Issue 10

Navajo Nation v. U.S. Department of the Interior,

ELR 20071
13-15710 (9th Cir., April 2016)

The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court decision dismissing the Navajo Nation's lawsuit against the National Park Service (NPS) that seeks immediate return of human remains and associated funerary objects taken from its reservation. Between 1931 and 1990, NPS removed 303 sets of human remains...

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, National monuments

Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell

ELR 20070
14-246 (D. Mont., April 2016)

A district court held that FWS violated the ESA when it decided not to list the wolverine as a threatened species. FWS proposed to list the wolverine in 2013, but then changed course in 2014 and withdrew the proposal; this lawsuit followed. The court ruled against the agency, holding that FWS...

Threatened species listing

San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition v. United States Department of Defense

ELR 20067
12-57234 (9th Cir., March 2016)

The Ninth Circuit held that the government complied with NEPA when it issued a FONSI in connection with the redevelopment of a 15-acre waterfront site owned by the U.S. Navy in downtown San Diego. The site serves as the home to several non-operational, administrative components of the U.S. Navy...

Negative determination, EIS not required for

Atherton v. United States

ELR 20066
14-cv-02160 (D.D.C., March 2016)

A district court dismissed an individual's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) lawsuit against the United States for allegedly causing him to suffer severe emotional trauma and harm to his "internal organs" after he woke up to the sound of a U.S. Park Police helicopter flying overhead. The helicopter...


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service

ELR 20065
14-1807 (D.D.C., March 2016)

A district court held that FWS violated NEPA when it reissued two orders authorizing the killing of double-crested cormorants in certain states. FWS issued an EA and FONSI for the orders rather than an EIS. But the EA is insufficient to justify FWS' FONSI because FWS did not take the requisite “...

Negative determination, EIS not required for, Wildlife (generally)

Mayo v. Jarvis

ELR 20068
14-1751, 15-0479 (D.D.C., March 2016)

A district court remanded a portion of FWS’ addendum to a 2007 biological opinion concerning the incidental take of grizzly bears in the Grand Teton National Park. In 2007, FWS and the National Park Service (NPS) issued a joint 15-year management plan for bison and elk herds that migrate across...

Grand Teton National Park, Mont., Biological opinion, §7(b), Incidental taking, Bears

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Ass'ns v. United States Department of Interior

ELR 20064
14-15514 (9th Cir., March 2016)

The Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision dismissing fishermen's NEPA claims against the Bureau of Reclamation in connection with its approval of eight interim two-year contracts for delivery of water from the Central Valley...

Discussion of, held inadequate, Water-related projects, Irrigation

Bohmker v. Oregon

ELR 20063
1:15-cv-01975 (D. Or., March 2016)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by individual miners and various mining groups, associations, and businesses challenging an Oregon law that temporarily bans instream motorized mining to protect water quality and fish habitat. The law, with some exceptions, temporarily prohibits...

Mining Law of 1872, Oregon, Quality

Jam v. International Finance Corp.

ELR 20069
15-612 (D.D.C., March 2016)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by Indian fishermen and farmers against the World Bank in connection with a $450 million loan issued for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in India. The plaintiffs filed suit against the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC...