Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Alaska v. Lubchenco

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20348
Nos. 10-0927, (D.D.C., 11/21/2011) (Lamberth)

A district court upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS') decision to list the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered under the ESA. The state of Alaska, an oil company, and several nonprofit corporations challenged the decision, questioning the rationale behind the NFMS' decision, its basis in science, and the procedures through which it was promulgated. But the Service's decision to list the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered is rational because the small, isolated population has not shown any appreciable signs of recovery since 1999 when hunting restrictions began. In addition, the record amply reflects that the NMFS considered the ESA's listing factors and articulated a rational basis for its listing determination, grounded that decision in the best available scientific data, and provided a full opportunity for public comment before publishing its final listing rule.