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Carson-Truckee Water Conservancy Dist. v. Clark

ELR Citation: 14 ELR 20797
Nos. Nos. 83-1549 et al., 741 F.2d 257/21 ERC 2111/(9th Cir., 08/22/1984) Aff'd

The court rules that the Secretary of the Interior did not abuse his discretion in deciding to devote all water from a reclamation project to the conservation of endangered species. The court vacates the district court's holding on the Secretary's obligation to obtain reimbursement of project costs through sale of water, since that issue need not yet be resolved, but otherwise affirms the two rulings being appealed and adopts the opinions of the district court. The court rejects appellants' argument that the Endangered Species Act merely requires the Secretary to avoid projects that jeopardize species. The Act directs the Secretary to administer his programs to conserve endangered species and supports the Secretary's decision to devote project water to endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout and cui-ui fish. Finally, the court rejects appellants' argument that the Secretary abused his discretion in rejecting a questionable plan that allegedly would provide both fish and appellants with water.

[One of the district court opinions appears at 13 ELR 20535.]

Counsel for Appellants
John M. Collette
Collette & Erickson
555 California St., Suite 4350, San Francisco CA 94104
(415) 788-4646

John Madariaga, General Counsel
Sierra Pacific Power Co., 100 E. Moana Lane, Reno NV 89520
(702) 789-4011

Counsel for Appellees
Joseph DePietro
Office of the Regional Solicitor
Department of the Interior, 2800 Cottage Way, Room E-2753, Sacramento CA 95825
(916) 484-4331

Dale White
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 724-7156

Before DUNIWAY, Senior Circuit Judge, PREGERSON, and NORRIS, Circuit Judges.