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Center for Biological Diversity v. FPL Group, Inc.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20245
Nos. No. A116362, (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 09/18/2008) Aff'd

A California appellate court affirmed the dismissal of environmental groups' lawsuit against the owners and operators of wind turbine electric generators for killing and injuring raptors and other birds in violation of the public trust doctrine. Wildlife, including birds, is considered to be a public trust resource of all the people of the state, and private parties have the right to bring an action to enforce the public trust. Nonetheless, the public agencies responsible for protecting these trust resources have taken action to do so. The proper means to challenge the adequacy of those measures is by petition for a writ of mandate or request for other appropriate relief brought against those agencies. Permitting the action to proceed as presented would require the court to make complex and delicate balancing judgments without the benefit of the expertise of the agencies responsible for protecting the trust resources and would threaten redundancy at best and inconsistency at worst.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 36 ELR 20217.]