Description: Challenge to biological opinion for fish hatchery.
Wild Fish Conservancy v. Irving
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/22/2016 Order Download Order issued granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's and defendant's motions for summary judgment. Washington Federal Court Said Biological Opinion Had to Consider Climate Change Effects.
The federal district court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled that a biological opinion prepared pursuant to the Endangered Species Act to consider the effects a fish hatchery’s operations would have on endangered salmon and chinook was arbitrary and capricious because it did not adequately consider climate change effects. The court said that “[t]he best available science indicates that climate change will affect stream flow and water conditions throughout the Northwest” and that the lack of a model or study specifically addressing local climate change effects did not permit the National Marine Fisheries Service to ignore this factor. The court said that NMFS had included “no discussion whatsoever” of the potential effects of climate change on the hatchery’s future operations and water use, and that it was not sufficient for NMFS to say that the local area at issue was less prone to climate change effects than other areas in the region. The court rejected other arguments regarding shortcomings in the biological opinion and related incidental take statement.