Santa Ana Sucker Legal Allies Finalized

Just to be clear, the Santa Ana sucker is NOT a skinny young thing who works Harbor Boulevard. Or, more accurately, the Santa Ana sucker for the purposes of this post is not a tireless working gal/guy.

The Santa Ana sucker referenced here is the algae-eating fish whose Santa Ana River habitat protection by the federal government launched a lawsuit by inland water agencies.

The latest development: Judge James V. Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on Monday finalized the list of environmental groups that will be parties to the lawsuit.

They are: California Trout, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club's San Gorgonio chapter and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society.

Each had petitioned to become interveners in the case so they can present evidence that folds into their interests.

Funny thing about the Center for Biological Diversity: water officials suing the feds say an environmental organization based in Arizona should butt out of Inland Empire affairs. The center counters its lead biologist, whose findings make up much of the science in these legal volleys, is in Los Angeles.

The center was among the environmental groups that were parties to a successful suit filed years ago against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the initial Santa Ana sucker habitat protection area. Expanding the zone to be in compliance with that litigation, the federal agency found itself sued again last year, this time by the coalition of inland water companies. They claim the new area complicates efforts to draw enough safe water to meet customer demands.

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