Judge Shuts Down Audubon Lawsuit

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Audubon of Kansas over water rights at the Quivira Wildlife Refuge in central Kansas.

Audubon sued the U.S. Department of Interior and other federal and state agencies in January, alleging they had not protected senior water rights at the 22,135-acre refuge near the town of Stafford.

U.S. District Judge Holly Teeter ruled Audubon had not proven it had jurisdiction to file the claim against state entities in federal court.

She also ruled Audubon had not identified any action that would allow it to sue federal agencies.

Quivera has suffered from a water shortage because of groundwater pumping upstream in the Rattlesnake Creek basin by irrigators, who the lawsuit contended had junior water rights to the refuge.

The lawsuit had sought an injunction that would ensure the refuge has sufficient water supplies by ordering the defendants to protect the refuge and its water rights.