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NW Fishletter #373, September 5, 2017

[9] Petitioners Decide Not to Challenge Seventh Power Plan

As of Aug. 23, there's one fewer lawsuit involving Columbia and Snake River salmon.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Northwest Resource Information Center's motion to voluntarily dismiss a petition contesting the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Seventh Power Plan.

The petitioner, Idaho-based NRIC, made the motion to the 9th Circuit on Aug. 22.

The appeals court had stayed NRIC v. Northwest Power and Conservation Council [16-72481] until Aug. 2, 2017, or until NRIC's related case challenging the 2014 Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program was resolved.

After hearing oral arguments in the case on the fish and wildlife program in May, the court denied the appeal in a six-page order July 19.

The Idaho conservation group brought the petition against the power plan because the court's intervention would be required "to develop a Fish and Wildlife Program and companion Power Plan that will restore Columbia River salmon, notably those produced in the Snake River Basin, while ensuring an adequate and reliable regional supply of power," the group said in its Jan. 26, 2017 petition on the 2014 F&W program.

When NRIC disputed the Sixth Power Plan in 2010, the 9th Circuit remanded the plan to the Council in 2013 to fix two procedural matters, but otherwise disagreed with the issues raised by NRIC. -L. B.

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