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Pacific Coast Fed'n of Fishermen's Ass'ns v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

ELR Citation: 35 ELR 20215
Nos. No. 03-16718, (9th Cir., 10/18/2005)

The court holds that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries failed to analyze how plans to operate an irrigation project in the Klamath River Basin would avoid jeopardy to the southern Oregon/northern California Coast coho salmon and its habitat in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The biological opinion (BO) and reasonable and prudent alternatives (RPA) for the project govern the Bureau of Reclamation's actions for 10 years. But the BOcontains no analysis on the project's effect on the coho for the first eight years of the RPA's implementation. Because the agencies failed to analyze the effects for eight of the 10 years of the proposed action on the coho, a species that has a three-year life cycle, they violated the ESA's mandate to avoid the likelihood of jeopardy to the coho.