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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« Federal Judge in Minnesota Directs Agency to Cease Unauthorized Incidental Take of the Canada Lynx | Main| Religious Views Fail to Avoid ESA Prosecution in Northern California »

Federal Judge Upholds Listing of the Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon

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Jack Marincovich v. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Civil No. 07-6228-Ho, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 26560  (D.Ore. March 31, 2008)

Plaintiffs allege damage and continuing harm as a result of the listing of the Lower Columbia River Coho salmon ESU, as defined by defendants, under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 153 1 et seq., which listing occurred on or about June 28, 2005. Plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring the defendants' listing determination of June 28, 2005, as to the Lower Columbia River (LCR) Coho salmon invalid and unlawful under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)…  

The Court summarized its own opinion as follows:

Plaintiffs primarily attack the numbers in this challenge to a listing decision and do not generally address the science. Disputes involving "primarily issues of fact" must be resolved in favor of the expert agency so long as the agency's decision is based on a reasoned evaluation of the relevant factors. Marsh v. Oregon Natural Resources Council, 490 U.S. 360, 377-78 (1989). A Court must look at the decision not as the biologist or statistician that courts are qualified neither by training nor experience to be, but as a reviewing court exercising its narrowly defined duty of holding agencies to certain minimal standards of rationality. See Ethyl Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 541 F.2d 1, 36 (D.C. Cir. 1976).  NMFS analyzed the complex genetic data, interpreted marine coded-wire-tag recoveries, assessed the origin and viability of small, self-sustaining populations based upon incomplete but the best available data, dating back nearly a century, and predicted the likely conservation benefits of hatchery stocks and the overall ESU extinction risks. The court cannot disturb this rational decision. While plaintiffs may suffer economic harms and disagree with NMFS's conclusions, such does not justify vacating the listing decision. The decision to list the LCR coho ESU as threatened is upheld.

OTHER RESOURCES:
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Photo of a female Coho salmon by Thomas B. Dunklin from the Trees Foundation