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Colorado v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20170
Nos. 15-cv-00286-CMA-STV, (D. Colo., 09/27/2018) (Arguello, J.)

A district court denied Colorado's and Utah's request to vacate FWS' decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse species as threatened under the ESA. The states argued that many of the agency's claimed threats to the species were unsupported by science, and that its determinations were arbitrary and capricious. But the court found substantial evidence that near-extinction of the six satellite populations of the species, coupled with the declining Gunnison Basin population, would cause the entire species to face extinction. The states also challenged the agency's critical habitat designation. But the court again found that the designation was accompanied by significant scientific explanation supported by numerous unchallenged studies, the ESA, and the record. It thus affirmed the the agency's determinations as to Gunnison sage grouse.