Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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According to Pacific Legal Foundation, ESA Is the Problem:
Hatchery Policy Review; Public Hearings Will Accomplish Nothing

Press Release

CONTACT: Pacific Legal Foundation
Russell C. Brooks, 425/576-0484
Robin L. Rivett, 916/362-2833

Nov 12, 2001

  Attorneys from Pacific Legal Foundation today issued the following statement in response to the federal government's decision to forgo an appeal to Judge Hogan's September 21, 2001, decision in the Alsea case -- a decision confirming that Oregon coastal coho, whether hatchery or wild, must be considered identical for listing purposes under the Endangered Species Act.

"The government's decision not to appeal the Alsea case confirms the soundness of Judge Hogan's decision," said PLF Attorney Russell C. Brooks.

"But, as long as the listings continue, the review promised by the government will do nothing to alleviate the suffering people have endured. We see no expression of concern about people. They are focused on reevaluating their listing under a law that does not take into account human values. The Endangered Species Act is a bad law. Good law starts with people," said Brooks.

According to a statement issued Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the administration will conduct its review by mounting a "comprehensive outreach effort to hear from state and regional authorities, tribal leaders, sportsmen, conservationists, farmers, interest groups and affected industries."

During the review period, government officials will work to ensure that so-called "wild" salmon continue to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act.

"The government is already talking about simply adding hatchery salmon to the listing," said Brooks.

"This sounds too much like business as usual. Animal protection at the cost of people's livelihoods and human values will continue while government studies the issue and holds hearings at taxpayers' expense to avoid dealing with the facts," he added.

"At some point they'll have to make a decision and then we will know how much they think people count," said Brooks.

Pacific Legal Foundation is a nonprofit, public interest law organization dedicated to litigating nationwide in defense of environmental balance, private property rights, and individual and economic liberty. PLF's Northwest Center is located in Bellevue, Washington.

CONTACT: Pacific Legal Foundation
Russell C. Brooks, 425/576-0484
Robin L. Rivett, 916/362-2833



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