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Ksanka Kupaqa Xa’ⱡȼin v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20065
Nos. 19-20-M-DWM, (D. Mont., 04/14/2021) (Molloy, J.)

A district court vacated and remanded FWS' and the Forest Service's approval of the first phase of a proposed copper and silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. Tribal and environmental groups argued the agencies violated the ESA by failing to reinitiate consultation on the mine's impact to grizzly bears, issuing an unlawful biological opinion, and approving a record of decision without a valid biological opinion. The court found that it was arbitrary and capricious for the agencies to approve Phase I of the proposed mine without considering the environmental effects of Phase II or adequately explaining why the impacts of Phase II could be omitted. It therefore set aside the relevant decision documents and remanded to the agencies.