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Federal appeals court upholds delta smelt protections
Federal appeals court upholds delta smelt protections

In a big win for a little fish, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld delta smelt protections that have cut deliveries of Northern California water to the Southland and the San Joaquin Valley. A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 2-1 decision that a number of environmental provisions that federal and state water contractors have disputed as ill-founded were in fact justified. In effect, the court backed pumping limits. Written by Judge Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, the opinion is a major blow to the agricultural and urban agencies that have spent years challenging endangered species protections that have curbed water exports from the...

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