Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court heard a 17 year-long legal battle between the State of Washington and Native American Tribes over fishing rights. The Supreme Court was deadlocked in a four to four tie, leaving the previous decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit intact. This decision mandated that the State of Washington expend billions of dollars for repairs to infrastructure that threatens and degrades salmon habitats and populations. While this primarily represents a win for Native American Tribes, this ruling will assist salmon recovery efforts in the region and should not go unnoted. In a never-ending battle for fish conservation in the Pacific Northwest, this is a huge win!

Melissa Erkel, a fish-passage biologist with the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, looks at a culvert along the north fork of Newaukum Creek near Enumclaw, Wash., on June 22, 2015. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Melissa Erkel, a fish-passage biologist with the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, looks at a culvert along the north fork of Newaukum Creek near Enumclaw, Wash., on June 22, 2015. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

For more on this development, check out these articles by the Seattle Times and New York Times .

Also, check out these related Flylords’ stories: Hydroelectric Project on Washington’s Skykomish River Cancelled, The Olympic Peninsula, and  Save Bristol Bay.

Images from the Seattle Times and NY Times