OLYMPIA, Wash. - Attorney General Bob Ferguson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by a federal appeals court that state officials say will require it to pay billions of dollars on salmon habitat.
Ferguson filed the petition Thursday asking for review of last year's decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court affirmed a lower court's 2013 ruling ordering the state to fix or replace hundreds of culverts - large pipes that allow streams to pass beneath roads but block migrating salmon. In May, the appeals court refused to reconsider the case. Ferguson argues the ruling's impact goes beyond culverts.
The tribes, backed by the U.S. Justice Department, sued Washington in 2001 to force it to replace the culverts with structures that better allow fish to pass.