The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Las Vegas, will hear, once again, oral arguments in the lawsuit to stop the “draconian cuts in water supplies to San Joaquin Valley farms and urban residents to aid the Delta smelt,” said Rob Rivett, president of the Pacific Legal Foundation. Judge Oliver Wanger’s December 14, 2010, decision to invalidate and remand the 2008 Delta smelt biological opinion to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the basis of this appeal.
In that lower court ruling, Judge Wanger was quoted in reference to conflicting testimony of government witnesses:
“I have never seen anything like what has been placed before this court by these two witnesses,” Wanger said in his ruling on the smelt case. “The only inference that the court can draw is that it is an attempt to mislead and to deceive the court.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has attempted to show the court scientific evidence as to why holding back water needed to irrigate crops is essential to the survival of the Delta Smelt.