Supreme Court Decision on Fairy Shrimp & the ESA

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* LOCAL: Supreme Court refuses to enter debate over endangered species
WASHINGTON (January 14 2002, 11: 05 a.m. PST) - The Supreme Court has turned down a chance to set limits on how far the government can go to protect endangered species.
<http://cgi.fresnobee.com/go.cgi?/local/story/1464309p-1540761c.html>



fresnoBee.com
Supreme Court refuses to enter debate over
endangered species

By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has turned down a chance to set
limits on how far the government can go to protect endangered species.

The case the court refused Monday to review involves shrimp found mainly in
California, but it would have affected government efforts to protect all dying
wildlife.

An association of Californians builders challenged the constitutionality of the
Endangered Species Act and the way the government handled the classification of
shrimp.

Over the years a string of lawsuits have been filed over classifications of various
species, from red wolves and bald eagles to arroyo toads and Delhi Sand
flower-loving flies. In this case, builders were asking the Supreme Court to roll
back protection given shrimp.

The builders attorneys told the court that Californians "run the risk of violating
federal law by simply walking on their land. Placing a foot in a puddle of water can
result in heavy fines or even imprisonment if it harms the small and delicate fairy
shrimp."

They questioned the need for protection for the shrimp, which are not sold
commercially.

Theodore Olson, the Bush administration's Supreme Court lawyer, did not take part
in the case. In the past he has opposed government regulation in similar cases.

Paul D. Clement, acting solicitor general, defended the shrimp classification.

"Individual species are part of an interdependent web," Clement wrote. "The
significance of a particular species cannot always be easily determined at a given
point in time."

The case involves three species classified as endangered - Conservancy fairy
shrimp, longhorn fairy shrimp, and vernal pool tadpole shrimp. The shrimp are found
in California's central valley and in Oregon.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. The court agreed with the builders that the service should
have circulated a study on the shrimp.

The case is Building Industry Association of Superior California v. Norton, 01-620.
© 2001 , The Fresno Bee


Randy
CORVA Field Rep - So. Cal.
AMA, BRC, SDORC
 
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