Judge Wanger's bench comments and criticism of government scientist witnesses in his "salmon" decision Tuesday (my 9/20/11 post) has garnered lots of attention in the press and blogsphere, see, e.g., NY Times Green Blog, 9/21/11 and Washington Examiner, 9/22/11, and the on-line arm of today's SF Chronicle has this AP piece focusing on his water law jurisprudence:
A federal judge whose rulings in high-profile California water cases have had far-reaching impact on protections of threatened fish species and on how much water flows from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farms and cities is stepping down after two decades on the bench.
The decisions of judge Oliver W. Wanger — who leaves the courthouse on Sept. 30 — have at times angered farmers, environmentalists and federal government officials. Despite this, Wanger, 70, is recognized by all sides for his historic role and his strict adherence to the law.
"Over the course of the last two decades, no one has had a greater influence on California water than Judge Wanger," said Tom Birmingham, general manager of the Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural water district in the nation, which has participated in numerous cases before the judge. "There isn't a judge for whom I have greater respect."
Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, which has often opposed Westlands in court, echoed the sentiment: "We have found him to be a fair judge who addresses what is before him."
Photo AP, SF Examiner.