Federal Judge Grants Injunctive Relief to Protect Chinook Salmon and Steelhead

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon entered an interim injunction, ordering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to “provide volitional downstream fish passage and water quality measures to mitigate irreparable harm” to threatened Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon and steelhead. The court found that ACE and the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to implement several measures required by a 2008 report to protect the fish who have been driven to near-extinction by the ACE’s operation of several dams in the Pacific Northwest. The order will become final after appointment of an independent expert panel which will set specific guidelines that the ACE must follow to minimize detrimental impacts on the critical habitat for spawning of endangered species of salmon and steelhead. The case was brought by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, WildEarthGuardians, and Native Fish Society.