Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
deny petition to delist Klamath suckers
The U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service announced Friday, June 26, it has denied a
petition to delist two fish species native to the Klamath Basin.
The service determined in its "90-day finding" that the endangered
Lost River and shortnose suckers "were still experiencing limited
recruitment and adult survival rates."
The determination appears to go against the service's finding in
2007 that the Lost River sucker be reclassified as threatened.
That finding came after a five-year review.
Biologists also in that review found the shortnose sucker should
remain classified as endangered under the federal Endangered
In making its latest determination, the service said it reviewed
findings from the five-year review and considered new information
used in preparing the 2008 biological opinion for the Bureau of
Reclamation's operations plan for the Klamath Project.
In that opinion, the service concluded that "habitat conditions in
the Upper Klamath Lake had improved as a result of restoration
efforts in the Upper Klamath Lake Watershed, especially at the
mouth of the Williamson River." However, the service concluded
June 26, a delisting was not warranted.
James Buchal, a Portland attorney who filed the petition for
Klamath Basin farmers, said he was shocked by the decision.
"It's astounding that their apparent mandate to maintain a
stranglehold on the basin has overpowered the recommendation of
their own biologists," Buchal said. "Choking the economic life out
of the Klamath Basin seems to be their goal."
Buchal said his clients' next step would be to sue the service
over the "manifestly erroneous determination."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Lost River and
shortnosed sucker as endangered in 1988.
Tuesday June 30, 2009 03:43 AM Pacific
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