Description: Challenge to determination that listing of Rio Grande cutthroat trout as endangered or threatened was not warranted.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/26/2019 Opinion and Order Download Decision vacated in part and remanded. District Court Rejected Climate Change Arguments in Challenge to Listing Determination for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. The federal district court for the District of Colorado rejected arguments that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) erred in its analyses of climate change’s impact on the Rio Grande cutthroat trout when it determined in 2014 that the species no longer warranted listing under the Endangered Species Act. The FWS concluded in 2008 that the trout should be listed but reversed course in 2014 and concluded that listing was no longer warranted. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ contention that the FWS had concluded that conservation projects would outpace climate change effects on the trout or by the argument that the FWS erred by abandoning a finding in its 2008 determination that climate change constituted a “severe” threat to the trout that exacerbates other threats. The court did, however, find that the FWS failed to explain different methodologies it used in 2008 and 2014 to calculate the number of healthy populations of the trout. Because the court found that the FWS had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in this respect, the court vacated the 2014 determination in part and remanded for the FWS to explain its rationale for determining the number of healthy populations. 07/29/2016 Complaint Download Complaint filed.