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Before HENRY, Chief Judge, BALDOCK and HOLMES, Circuit Judges.

This case involves one battle in a prolonged war over a finite and elemental resource-Rio Grande water. The needs of the plants and animals that depend upon this water for survival are in tension with the needs of the human inhabitants of the Middle Rio Grande Valley (the “Valley”) who depend upon the water for daily living and commercial and agricultural activities. Alleging that the Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) failed to properly maintain the delicate balance between these counterpoised needs to the detriment of several endangered species, Defenders of Wildlife, Forest Guardians, National Audubon Society, New Mexico Audubon Council, Sierra Club, and the Southwest Environmental Center (the “Environmental Groups”) sought relief in federal court pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).

 
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