A development project in Redding that would destroy critical habitat for endangered species may proceed because the affected habitat constitutes a small percentage of habitat available nationwide, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled.
The Ninth Circuit's decision puts a new twist on the debate over what constitutes "adverse modification" to critical habitat by upholding a black and white mathematical percentage formula applied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Using the formula, a FWS biological opinion determine there would not be adverse modification or destruction of critical habitat of three species native to the Central Valley.