Groups seek to stop Bush salmon plan
Environmentalists, fishermen join forces against proposal

Associated Press - The Spokesman Review

WASHINGTON 3/15/02_ Environmentalists and the fishing industry asked a federal judge Thursday to reject the Bush administration's proposal to temporarily end habitat protections for 19 populations of salmon and steelhead in the West.

The administration's move -- part of a settlement offer to end two lawsuits -- could open parts of California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho to more development in areas near the habitat of the threatened and endangered fish.

Glen Spain, Northwest regional director for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, said the future of his industry depends on recovery of the fish runs.

"This hits us really hard. We are commercial fishermen. We need these resources for our communities," Spain said.

Earlier this week, the National Marine Fisheries Service said it will void and then rework "critical habitat" protections for the fish to settle lawsuits filed by the Association of California Water Agencies, National Association of Home Builders, other developers and local governments.

The groups that sued contend economic impacts were not adequately considered when the protections were put in place.

The revisions could take roughly two years.

Salmon and steelhead trout would still be protected under the Endangered Species Act during that time, but some limitations on development near their habitats would be removed.

Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund filed an objection to the proposed settlement on behalf of the fishermen's association and two environmental groups. The groups contend that the protections should stay in place while the revisions are made.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site