Whooping Crane Endangerment With A Water Rights Twist

Law360, New York (April 4, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT) -- A federal district court in Texas recently ruled that state regulators proximately caused an unlawful “take” of listed whooping cranes in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because the state surface water permit system did not ensure sufficient instream flows in the Guadalupe and San Antonio river systems. [The Aransas Project v. Shaw (S.D. Tex. Mar. 11, 2013)] This far-reaching opinion has nationwide implications for both natural resource regulators and entities that obtain water through an appropriative water rights system.

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On March 11, 2013,...
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