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Wild Fish Conservancy v. Salazar, No. 09-35531

Challenge to Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion

In Wild Fish Conservancy v. Salazar, No. 09-35531, a challenge to a Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biological opinion addressing the effects of the operations of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery on the bull trout, the court reversed summary judgment for the FWS where the FWS in several respects failed to articulate a rational connection between the facts found and the "no jeopardy" conclusion.

As the court wrote:  "We are faced once again with the far-reaching effects of federal hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River Basin on the region's native fish species. See, e.g., Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Serv., 524 F.3d 917 (9th Cir. 2008); Nw. Res. Info. Ctr., Inc. v. Nw. Power Planning Council, 35 F.3d 1371 (9th Cir. 1994). The fish at the heart of this particular controversy is not salmon, as in most of the earlier cases, and the potential threat to its survival and recovery is not a hydroelectric dam but a hatchery project intended to mitigate a dam's impact."

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