August 8, 2002
from NOAA Website

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is in the process of drafting a new policy for how it considers hatchery fish when making Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions in this region.  

This policy is part of NOAA Fisheries’ response to a U.S. District Court ruling, which said the agency made an improper distinction under the ESA in how it treated artificially propagated (hatchery) fish in its listing determinations.  The new policy is intended to ensure, in accordance with the Court’s ruling, that hatchery populations are considered in making ESA listing decisions.  

The policy will address artificial propagation only in the context of ESA status reviews and listing determinations for Pacific salmon and steelhead.  NOAA Fisheries will separately issue guidelines for the design and implementation of artificial propagation programs for the purpose of supporting tribal treaty fisheries, recreational and commercial fisheries, species reintroduction and restoration efforts, and species conservation efforts.

To assist in the development of this new policy, NOAA Fisheries is now sharing a “working draft” with key partners – including tribal and state natural resource agencies in the region, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Justice. NOAA Fisheries is seeking advice from this broad set of co-managers (see the List of Co-manager Reviewers) because of their technical and policy expertise in fish and wildlife management issues.  Obtaining such expert review is a crucial part of the policy development process. 

The draft policy is being distributed to co-managers only at this time, and NOAA Fisheries will consider only their comments during this early policy-building process.  Following co-manager review and revision of this working draft, the policy will be formally proposed and go though a crucial public review process, including further opportunity for tribal, state, and federal co-manager input. 

- see Cover Letter to Co-managers from Bob Lohn (NOAA Fisheries' Regional Administrator)   PDF Format 262k
- see Questions & Answers on the Draft Policy and Artificial Propagation PDF format 124k
- see the Draft Hatchery Listing Policy  PDF format 112k
- see Reference List and Summaries of Scientific Studies Pertinent to the Development of the Policy
- see the List of Co-manager Reviewers   PDF format 99k 
- see Summary of Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans ruling  PDF format 74k 
- see More on NOAA Fisheries' Commitment to Update the Status for Pacific Salmon and Steelhead   PDF format 82k 


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