Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wilderness Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Dec 21: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 08-17406. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness in
southwest Arizona contains a desert ecosystem that is home to, among other species, bighorn sheep. After an unexpected decline in the population of the sheep, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) built two water structures (the Yaqui and McPherson tanks) within the wilderness area.
    Plaintiffs Wilderness Watch, Inc., et al brought suit against the Service. Plaintiffs allege that the Service's actions violated the express prohibition on the development of structures in the Wilderness Act, The district court granted summary judgment
to the Service, and Plaintiffs appealed. Reviewing de novo, High Sierra Hikers Ass'n v. Blackwell, 390 F.3d 630, 638 (9th Cir. 2004), the Appeals Court reversed and remanded the district court decision.
    Access the complete opinion (click here).

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