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California Sea Urchin Comm'n v. Bean

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20037
Nos. 15-56672, 17-55428, (9th Cir., 03/01/2018)

The Ninth Circuit upheld FWS' decision to end its 1987 sea otter translocation program. FWS created an experimental reserve population of southern sea otters some distance from the main population, but in 2012, FWS deemed the program a failure and terminated it. FWS' interpretation of the statute allowing termination was reasonable. Moreover, in the circumstances here, where the agency had discretion to implement an experimental program, the agency could reasonably interpret the statute to allow it to terminate that program if the statute’s purpose was no longer being served.