Deschutes Basin HCP notice of intent to sue

Yesterday the Center for Biological Diversity notified the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of their intent to sue for Endangered Species Act violations in the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. You can read the entire 53-page notice here. In summary, CBD contends that the HCP will not provide adequate protection for the Oregon Spotted Frog, an ESA-listed species. While there has been much talk about potential litigation over the years, I was surprised by this development. Conversations I have had with conservationists in Oregon for some time could be summarized as frustration with the HCP but a belief that the drought precluded any ability to materially increase flows without significantly harming irrigators which they were reluctant to do. My greatest personal frustration with the HCP is centered mostly on the lack of meaningful protection of flows in the Crooked River, home for steelhead and salmon, but this is not mentioned in the notice.