US District Court determines that Fish Northwest has sufficient legal standing and rejects the motion to dismiss the court case.
Back in April, you, our members, made it possible for Fish Northwest to launch its second lawsuit. This suit addresses the ongoing over-harvest of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protected salmon in terminal areas and the fact that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the agency responsible for implementing and enforcing the ESA, is turning a blind eye. We are pleased to inform you that two major milestones have been reached in our case.
First, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas S. Zilly, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, issued an order directing the defendants (NMFS) to gather the record and file the evidence with the court for the court’s review by no later than December 17, 2021. Importantly, this action by the court affirms that Fish Northwest does indeed have standing to present its case to the court. In other words, the court has determined that Fish Northwest and its members have sufficient legal interest and injury to bring suit against the NMFS.
Second, this action by the court affirms that the motion to dismiss the entire case, made by the NMFS, has been rejected. Instead, the court has issued the order to present the case on its merits. The court’s order includes the deadline for NMFS to submit the record and the briefing deadlines for presentation of Fish Northwest’s case to the court. Of note, the final briefing will occur near the end of North of Falcon 2022 with the summary judgment scheduled for late May of 2022, coinciding with the conclusion of NOF and finalizing of the List of Agreed to Fisheries (LOAF) for the 2022-23 seasons. A direct link to the court order can be found here on our website www.fishnorthwest.orghttps://secureservercdn.net/…/11/Minute-order-11-22-21.pdf
Folks, this is fantastic news for Fish Northwest, its members, and the Puget Sound salmon we all love. The fact that we have standing has been established by the court, and we have survived the initial attempt to have our entire case dismissed, but this does not mean we will win the case or that the battle is over. We are in the final six-month stretch, and there is a lot of work to be done. We thank you for your generous support thus far, as we would not have gotten this far without it, and ask that you consider donating more as you are able.
President, Fish Northwest