JMBM scored a significant victory for the firm’s client, CEMEX, Inc., when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and CEMEX, Inc. The Center’s lawsuit challenged authorizations by the Service in favor of the Soledad Canyon Sand and Gravel Mining Project, a project proposed by CEMEX, Inc. in Los Angeles County, which was also approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The underlying action concerned claims relating to alleged failures on the part of the Service in administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Court’s ruling effectively rejected the efforts of the Center to interpret the ESA in a way that would require federal agencies to comply with state law requirements — in this instance, a California law designating certain species as “fully protected” beyond the ESA.