A federal appeals court has stayed a judge's decision that temporarily barred Texas from granting new water permits on two South Texas rivers.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued the stay Tuesday and called for an expedited appeal process.
A federal judge in Corpus Christi found earlier this month that the state's management of the waterways was responsible for the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had told the appeals court that the ruling could cause economic harm.
A coalition of local governments and environmental advocates sued the state in 2010, contending the cranes died because their food supply was harmed by insufficient fresh water. Their lead attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.