Struggling to survive
The Colorado River cutthroat trout is on the brink. Reduced to less than five percent of its historic range and threatened by livestock grazing, water diversions, and nonnative trout, it is a prime candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. But the Bush administration has ignored this need.
Six years yields success
Now, after nearly six years of fighting, Earthjustice has succeeded in giving the trout a chance. After years of stalling and by cherry-picking biological information from politically-motivated state and federal agencies, the Bush administration tried to say that the trout didn't warrant even an evaluation for protection. But in September 2006, a federal judge disagreed, recognizing the administration's one-sided tactics, and told it to follow the law.
Hopeful, but no guarantees
The court determined that the administration had illegally and selectively sought information from state agencies that generally oppose protection, while giving the public no chance to comment. So now the trout will get a proper assessment, one that should lead to a recommendation for ESA protection. There are no guarantees, but Earthjustice will be watching closely.