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Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20060
Nos. CV-18-00404-TUC-JGZ, (D. Ariz., 03/31/2021) (Zipps, J.)

A district court granted an environmental group's motion for summary judgment in a challenge to FWS' withdrawal of a rule proposed in 2015 to list the Lower Colorado River (LCR) Basin roundtail chub as a threatened species. The group argued that FWS' withdrawal of the rule rested entirely on the Service's acceptance of a taxonomic revision that failed to provide a reasoned, rational basis for abandoning the listing process, and thus that the withdrawal was arbitrary and capricious. The court found that FWS improperly failed to consider whether the LCR Basin roundtail chub population remained discrete, significant, and in danger of extinction after accepting the taxonomic revision, and failed to articulate a rational connection between the revision and its decision not to consider listing the LCR Basin roundtail chub distinct population segment. It therefore granted the group's motion for summary judgment and denied FWS' cross-motion.