James K. Hein

Document Type



The conflict in the Klamath Basin has pitted irrigators against environmentalists, tribes, and fishermen in a dramatic battle over a scarce resource: water. A 2001 court order allocated water to endangered and threatened fish while irrigation ditches and farms went dry. The incident became the rallying cry among those seeking to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Legislators proposed the Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act to require that all ESA decisions be based upon peer-reviewed, “sound” science. However, as this Note attempts to explain, the amendment would serve only to delay agency decisionmaking while providing more opportunities for litigation, prolonging rather than helping the embittered conflict in the Klamath Basin.