Bird Death Lawsuit Dismissal Upheld

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The dismissal of a lawsuit filed over the death of birds by a superior court has been upheld by a state appeals court, according to a recent report. The lawsuit had been brought by environmental groups against operators of wind turbines in Altamont Pass. It was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Court of Appeal in San Francisco said that members of the public could take legal action to protect wildlife they could not sue private parties, only government agencies. The court said that wildlife is considered a public trust resource “and private parties have a right to bring an action to enforce the public trust.”

Rick Wiebe, the attorney representing the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “While we are gratified that the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the traditional public trust ownership of wildlife, we are disappointed that it rejected the possibility of a lawsuit directly against those who are illegally killing wildlife.” He added: “A lawsuit against those who are killing wildlife is the most direct and effective means of protecting wildlife and vindicating the public trust in wildlife.”

An official from the center said that they are now looking at whether to ask the California Supreme Court to review the decision from the Court of Appeals.

 

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