Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Resource Management by Injunction

In May, Judge Jim Redden invalidated the biological opinion on operation of the Columbia River hydropower system.  In June, he issued a preliminary injunction requiring specific flows (spills) at five Columbia river and Snake river dams to protect fall juvenile chinook salmon.  Yesterday, the 9th CIrcuit upheld Judge Redden's issuance of a preliminary injunction.  It remanded to Judge Redden the defendants' complaints that the injunction was not narrowly tailored.  The 9th Circuit did not reach the merits of Judge Redden's decision on the biological opinion.  After decades of recalcitrance by the federal government, Judge Redden seems to have decided that natural resources management by injunction is better than the job that the federal government is doing and the 9th Circuit apparently agrees.  Next stop?    Link: Ninth Circuit Opinion 0535569.pdf).

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