Friday March 31, 2023

Courthouse News Service

A federal judge for the second time in two months rejected a bid by the Hoopa Valley Tribe to stop the Bureau of Reclamation from releasing more water during the winter months in the Trinity River that runs through the tribe’s territory in Northern California.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Thurston on Friday denied the tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the bureau’s winter flow variability project on the Trinity that began on Feb. 15. The judge wasn’t persuaded that the alleged harm to the tribe’s fisheries outweighed the environmental benefits the government claimed for adjusting the timing of the water that is released annually to restore the river.

“Plaintiff’s moving papers provide only conclusory critiques of the scientific underpinnings of the WFV Project, which appear to represent the most up-to-date science on these issues,” Thurston said. “Overall, the Court finds that the WFV Project identifies real problems with the pre-existing flow regime and sets forth a scientifically supported approach to addressing those problems.”

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