Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
 

 
   
 
 
 
National Grange Action Alert Updates
 
The National Grange Applauds that the Oregon
Coast Coho Salmon is De-listed as a
"Threatened Species" under the ESA

 
03/17/04
 
 
                   
 
It's illegal only wild salmon is counted and Protected. 
 
On February 24, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals effectively invalidated, once again, the listing of the Oregon Coast coho salmon as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Rule Text In September 2001, in Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans, Judge Hogan ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) acted illegally in protecting fish spawning in the wild, but not hatchery fish, which are genetically identical. The NMFS' counting of only naturally spawned salmon while totally disregarding hatchery spawned salmon kept the fish count artificially low, justifying otherwise needless ESA protections and locking up land use.

 

The Court's order invalidating and setting aside the coho listing had been postponed during the appeal and finally reinstated on February 24, 2004. Consequently, the Oregon Coast coho listing no longer exists and may not be enforced. This decision stands to have huge implications for land stewards and natural resource providers such as farmers, ranchers, and timber harvesters as well as local governments and citizens struggling with infrastructure development of schools, hospitals, and highways.

Victory for "good science and common sense"

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented the Alsea Valley Alliance, claimed the Court's decision as a victory for "good science and common sense." Many biologists, including even a chief of the NMFS hatcheries and inland fisheries branch, have agreed that there probably aren't any truly "wild" salmon left in the lower 48 states and that because of nearly 50 years of natural cohabitation, the hatchery-spawned salmon and the "wild" salmon are virtually indistinguishable. "With the Ninth Circuit's dismissal of this appeal, the 'sky is falling' rhetoric of hardcore environmental activists has been debunked and their true agenda exposed. This attempt to control private land use in the name of species protection has been successfully shut down," The PLF attorney Russ Brooks said.

The National Grange has supported a "true scientific" basis for establishment of buffer/setback restrictions along all bodies of water and it calls on NMFS to promptly complete its review of the hatchery policy and salmon and steelhead listings, consistent with the district court and Ninth Circuit decisions!

If you have any question or comments please contact Legislative Research Analyst Chil-Sook Hwant by email: chwang@nationalgrange.org by fax: (202) 347-1091 or by phone: 1-888-4GRANGE, ext. 109

Thank you for your grassroots participation in the National Grange Legislative Program.

National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry
1616 H Street, NW
Washington, DC  20004
1-888-4GRANGE

 

 

 

 

 

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