Federal Agency Will Not Appeal Court Decision on “Endangered” Salmon

BACKGROUND: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced November 9 that it will not appeal a September 13 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan that the NMFS was wrong in listing the Oregon coast salmon as "endangered" because it had not included the hatchery raised coho, which are genetically identical. Hogan said the agency had to include both wild and hatchery salmon in their determination of an endangered species.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: Whether fish breed in a protected hatchery or in the river doesn’t matter. The important goal is to increase the total population of the species.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: The Endangered Species Act has become a tool for various environmental groups to stop logging, shut down dams and stop fishing and put ranchers and farmers out of business. It’s time we re-examine how we define "endangered" so it doesn’t include American families.

DISCUSSION: NMFS has said it will also review 23 other "population segments" of coho salmon along the West Coast to determine if some of these segments should be delisted. It has also said it will, in the future, take into consideration the economic impact such rulings have on communities.

Earthjustice, an activist organization, has asked Judge Hogan to allow it to appeal his decision. The Pacific Legal Foundation represented the Alsea Valley Alliance in challenging the Endangered Species Act.

The review will allow for public comment and is to be completed by September 2002.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Details of the NMFS plan are available at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov

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