x
Breaking News
More () »

Boise's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Boise, Idaho | KTVB.com

Water users appeal ruling on central Idaho water diversions

The Salmon Headwaters Conservation Association on Wednesday filed the appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 7, 2016, file photo, the Salmon River flows through the Sawtooth Valley near the town of Stanley, Idaho. The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to complete environmental reviews of 20 water diversions in central Idaho that a conservation group says could be harming imperiled salmon. A U.S. District judge on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, signed off on the agreement between the Forest Service and Idaho Conservation League involving the water diversions in the Sawtooth Valley. (AP Photo/Keith Ridler, File)

BOISE, Idaho — A group of water users on Wednesday appealed a federal court decision ordering the U.S. Forest Service to consult with other federal agencies about nearly two dozen water diversion projects in central Idaho's Sawtooth Valley that could be harming salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

The Salmon Headwaters Conservation Association on Wednesday filed the appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The group intervened in the lawsuit initially brought by the Idaho Conservation League last year. 

The environmental group said the Forest Service was violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to complete consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries about the water diversions. 

U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill agreed with the environmental group in an order issued in June. 

Sockeye salmon are listed as endangered, while the other species are listed as threatened. All return to the high-elevation Sawtooth Valley after swimming some 900 miles up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon rivers.

RELATED: Sockeye salmon run falters, but Idaho officials optimistic

RELATED: Forest Service to review water diversions in Sawtooth Valley

RELATED: Judge orders Sawtooth Valley water diversions examined