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Wild Fish Conservancy v. Irving

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20190
Nos. 2:14-CV-0306-SMJ, (E.D. Wash. , 11/22/2016) (Mendoza, J.)

A district court denied in part and granted in part motions for summary judgment in a suit involving the effects of the Leavenworth [WA] National Fish Hatchery’s operation on endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead in Icicle Creek. An environmental group alleged NMFS's biological opinion (BiOp) and incidental take statement are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with the law and that NMFS violated NEPA. The group also claimed that in relying on the BiOp, the Bureau of Reclamation violated the ESA by failing to insure that hatchery operations will not jeopardize listed species. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the group on its claim that NMFS failed to consider the effects of climate change on stream flows in connection with the Hatchery’s operations, but it denied summary judgment on the other claims. The court also held that FWS and the Bureau's reliance on the BiOp satisfied their duties under ESA §7. The case was remanded for further consultation.