By William Fanning
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the Bureau of Reclamation did not violate the ESA when it renewed water contracts with two water user groups. The Ninth Circuit found that since one contract did not prevent the Bureau from complying with the ESA, the plaintiffs could not causally link the contract with harm to the fish and thus lacked Article III standing to pursue their case. The Court characterized the renewal of the second contract as a mandatory duty inherent in the contract itself. Further, the non-discretionary nature of the contract renewal exempted the Bureau from its obligations under Section 7(a)(2) of the ESA.
Read the full summary here.