Judge O’Niell has denied the farmer’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to block releases of water from Lewiston Dam to benefit Klamath River salmon:
“The Court concludes that, even though Plaintiffs are likely to (and in all likelihood soon will) succeed on the merits of at least one of their claims against Reclamation in connection with the 2013 [Flow Augmentation Releases] FARs the balance of the harms does not warrant an injunction at this time. Even if the Court were prepared immediately to issue a final ruling on the merits in favor of Plaintiffs, an injunction would not be automatic. The potential harm to the Plaintiffs from the potential, but far from certain, loss of added water supply in 2015 does not outweigh the potentially catastrophic damage that “more likely than not” will occur to this year’s salmon runs in the absence of the 2014 FARs.
Plaintiffs’ TRO/PI Motion is DENIED.
NOTE: Federal Defendants are hereby on notice that the Court will view future FARs (and requests to enjoin them) in light of all the circumstances, including the fact that Federal Defendants’ repeatedly have treated as “emergency” circumstances that appear to merit a consistent, reasoned, policy rationale. All involved deserve a reasonable opportunity to challenge any such rationale, and all interested, including the Court, deserve to be able to give to these issues “the time and attention [they] deserve.” San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Auth. v. Jewell, 747 F.3d 581, 606 (9th Cir. 2014). Failure to heed this notice may disappoint Defendants in future orders.”
For Dr. Joshua Strange’s statement which includes the causative and contributing factors in the 2002 Klamath River fish kill, the rationale and evidence supporting the protective fall flow recommendations to reduce the likelihood of future Ich outbreaks, and the protective flow recommendations for remainder of 2014, which considers the probable volumes of water required and available, current river and fish conditions, and the level of uncertainty versus confidence in this assessment, click here: StrangeDecl2014Doc167