Ninth Circuit Ratchets Up Consultation Obligations For Federal Agencies

American Bar Association Endangered Species Committee Newsletter

In a decision with far reaching implications for thewestem United States, the Ninth Circuit Court ofAppeals upheld a district court decision invalidating the 2004 biological opinion issued by theNational Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) forthe operation and management ofthe Federal Columbia River PowerSystem (FCRPSFa set ofdams and reservoirs alongthe Columbia and Snake rivers-finding that NMFSfailed to comply with its consultation obligations under Section 7 ofthe ESA. Narional Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service, 524 F.3d 917(Apr.24,2008).

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