Court Decision Makes it Final: Washington State Owes $2 Billion for Culvert Repairs

When it refused to reconsider a 2016 ruling that mandated the state of Washington to broken culverts around the state, the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals put to rest a legal controversy ongoing since 2001.
May 23, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Methow River, in Washington, provides safe passage for salmon.
Tom Reichner

Phuong Lee reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not hear an appeal of a ruling from last year mandating the state of Washington repair culverts blocking salmon migration. The cost of the needed salmon habitat restoration: $2 billion.

Idaho and Montana joined the state of Washington to appeal the 2016 ruling. In seeking the appeal, the states argued that repairing broken culverts wouldn't be sufficient to remove barriers to fish migration.

Planetizen checked in with Washington's culvert controversy in February, when KUOW detailed the lack of commitment from the state budget to solving the culvert problem.

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Published on Friday, May 19, 2017 in The Seattle Times
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