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Protect Our Communities Foundation v. Jewell

2014 WL 1364453 (2014)

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Protect Our Communities Foundation v. Jewell

United States District Court for the Central District of California

2014 WL 1364453 (2014)

Facts

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (defendant) had approved the construction of four large-scale solar-energy development projects on federal lands. The projects would contribute to California’s clean and renewable energy initiatives. The projects were located on land that had been habitats for a species of desert tortoise that was native to the Mojave Desert and listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two of the development projects had already been constructed, and construction of the other two was planned. Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders) (plaintiff) filed suit in district court, seeking a preliminary injunction to enjoin the construction of the proposed projects. Defenders argued that the desert tortoise had a “continuous distribution genetic structure” and that population connectivity was crucial to the species and that unfragmented habitats were important for population-density recovery. Thus, Defenders argued the two projects should not be constructed because of the detrimental effects they would have on desert tortoise habitat connectivity.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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