Critical habitat for the Riverside fairy shrimp was upheld by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson today.
The ruling came in a challenge from landowners who want to build a recycling center and landfill on 57 acres in San Diego County. The judge found that the Fish and Wildlife Service's economic analysis and NEPA determination were legal.
Bu the case isn't over. Jackson ordered additional briefing on the issue of whether 56 acres around the one-acre pond considered to be fairy shrimp habitat "is, in fact, watershed."
The portion of the administrative record submitted to the court "does not explain how the FWS determined that all of the geographic area that it designated as critical habitat qualifies as such," Jackson said.
Both sides "will have an opportunity to augment the Administrative Record Appendix and to file supplemental briefs that are limited to this factual issue," the judge said in her 62-page opinion.