"We will wait no longer. The time to sue is now!", declared Leo T. Bergeron, Master (President) of the California State Grange, in
announcing the intention of the California State Grange to join with the Oregon State Grange, the Greenhorn Grange of Yreka,
California, and the Jackson County Pomona Grange of Oregon to file suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
and the Department of Commerce (DofC) to de-list the Coho Salmon in Northern California and Southern Oregon. At their recent
National Convention, the National Grange voted to support the Western Granges in this suit.
The action comes on the heels of the recent decision in Oregon by the Federal Court to de-list the Oregon Coastal Coho Salmon.
The court called the listing arbitrary and capricious and without scientific merit. The case was argued and won by the Pacific
Legal Foundation, who is also representing the Grange in this suit.
The filing is in response to the listing of Coho Salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing has
forced over 1,400 farms to be without water. The domino effect of this action spelled economic disaster in the Klamath Basin
through unemployment, loss of property values, and loss of business in this agriculture-dependent area. In addition, thousands of
acres of wildlife refuge which hosts more than 430 species, including the ESA-listed Bald Eagle, is also threatened.
One of the major reforms sought by the Grange is the use of peer-reviewed, verifiable science in the making of regulatory law.
The Grange is the oldest grassroots property-rights organization in the country. Founded in 1867, Grangers fought for property
rights and against monopolies, and were a powerful legislative force with advocates in Washington, D.C.. and in 38 or the states.
"Rampant regulatory laws being imposed upon citizens by the utilization of ‘junk science' in the application of the Endangered
Species Act has awakened a sleeping giant," said Bergeron, who was instrumental in forming the four-state Grange coalition. "We
can look forward in this new Millennium to seeing a revitalization of Granges across the nation to fight for government
accountability as to the effects its regulations has on the citizens it governs. "
# # #
Note to editors: Complete information on the lawsuit can be obtained from Russell Brooks of the Pacific Legal Foundation, (425)
576-0484. The Greenhorn Grange has set up a dedicated fund to help defray the cost of this lawsuit.
Donations may be made to Greenhorn Grange Coho Fund, 300 Ranch Lane, Yreka CA 96097.