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California Forestry Ass'n v. California Fish & Game Comm'n

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20287
Nos. No. C053866, (Cal. Ct. App., 11/20/2007)

A California appellate court denied a challenge by a group of trade associations to a trial court’s ruling that upheld the listing of two coho salmon populations as endangered and threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) (Fish & Game Code §§2050 et seq.). Under CESA, species are "evolutionarily significant units" and may be subject to separate evaluations where the populations exist in areas characterized as "genetic discontinuity/transitions." Additionally, in determining whether a species is in serious danger of extinction, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) may limit its evaluation of the species range to populations within the state where such species are native and wild and where protecting their habitat is of value to Californians. The Commission's interpretation of the terms "species," "subspecies," and "range" is accorded deference based on their long-standing application of CESA and their scientific expertise.