Justices Decline to Take Delta Smelt Case


Nossaman Partner Paul Weiland was quoted in the Greenwire article "Justices decline to take delta smelt case," about the Supreme Court's decision not to take up a constitutional challenge to the small fish's listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The species has been the center of a legal fight after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to protect its habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta prompted opposition from local businesses and water districts. A 2008 biological opinion concluded that water flowing to irrigation districts and farms in the Central Valley had to be reduced in order to protect the tiny fish.

Mr. Weiland, who represents groups challenging the biological opinion, said it was not a surprise the Supreme Court did not take the case because there is no split within the federal courts of appeal on the issue. As for the ongoing litigation, he sees no end in sight in the near future and little prospect of a settlement. "The water wars out here continue," he said.

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