Wildlife supporters have something to smile about. On Thursday, March 12, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision in favor of creating the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge. The court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted legally in creating the refuge and denied an appeal by the City of Dallas and Texas Water Development Board, in effect precluding their ability to construct the proposed Fastrill Reservoir in the same footprint as the wildlife refuge. A coalition of environmentalists quickly hailed the court decision as a victory, but noted the legal battle may not be over.
However, the Dallas newspaper reported March 13 it was “unclear whether the city will attempt to have the case heard again by the entire panel of 5th Circuit judges or seek a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.” We can only hope this ads to our great National Wildlife Refuge system.