Federal judge issues permanent injunction in culvert case

Earlier today, Judge Martinez issued a permanent injunction in favor of the treaty tribes in the Culvert Case. In 2001 the treaty tribes in western Washington filed suit under U.S. v. Washington, challenging the existence of fish blocking culverts.

You can download the injunction here.

Here are some quotes from the injunction itself:

The Tribes have demonstrated … that they have suffered irreparable injury in that their Treaty-based right of taking fish has been impermissibly infringed. The construction and operation of culverts that hinder free passage of fish has reduced the quantity and quality of salmon habitat, prevented access to spawning grounds, reduced salmon production in streams in the Case Area, and diminished the number of salmon available for harvest by Treaty fishermen. The Tribes and their individual members have been harmed economically, socially, educationally, and culturally by the greatly reduced salmon harvests that have resulted from State-created or State-maintained fish passage barriers.

State action in the form of acceleration of barrier correction is necessary to remedy this decline in salmon stocks and remove the threats which face the Tribes. The State has the financial ability to accelerate the pace of barrier correction over the next several years and provide relief to the Tribes.

The Turtle Talk blog has more filings from today’s decision and the original 2007 summary judgement.

You can read the permanent injunction below: