AGENCY ADDS NINE WEST COAST SALMON TO
ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST
Action marks first time protection
has extended to heavily populated areas
The Commerce Department's National
Marine Fisheries Service today added nine
species of salmon and steelhead in Washington and Oregon, including
Portland and Seattle, to the endangered species list B marking
the first time federal
protection has been extended to salmon found in streams in heavily
populated areas of
the Pacific Northwest.
The Clinton Administration expects the
move to encourage successful state and local
salmon conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest now and
into the future.
People -- not nature -- have created the
conditions that have affected the health of
these fish. The endangered species listings are the result of
such factors as land-use
and water-development projects that degrade watershed and stream
to salmon survival, habitat loss, over-harvesting, dam construction
and operation, and
certain hatchery practices.
"Our goal here is to restore salmon," said Department
of Commerce Secretary William
M. Daley. "But we know that we cannot accomplish that alone.
As we have all said
repeatedly, extinction is not an option! We want to work together
with state and local
officials to preserve, for future generations, healthy salmon
stocks along with clean and
productive rivers and streams."
"One of our greatest challenges is
to restore the great salmon runs of the Pacific
Northwest to sustainable levels," said Terry Garcia, assistant
secretary of commerce for
oceans and atmosphere. "Healthy salmon resources are essential
to the economic
health and prosperity of the region."
The salmon populations listed, known as
ESUs or evolutionary significant units, range
from the sockeye salmon in Washington's rugged Olympic Peninsula
salmon, the largest of any salmon, found in the heavily urbanized
area of Puget Sound.
Those listed today are:
Four chinooks ESUs
- Puget Sound chinook (threatened)
- Lower Columbia River chinook (threatened)
- Upper Columbia River spring-run chinook
- Upper Willamette River chinook (threatened)
Two chum ESUs
- Hood Canal summer run chum (threatened)
- Columbia River chum (threatened)
Two steelhead ESUS
- Upper Willamette River steelhead (threatened)
- Middle Columbia River steelhead (threatened)
One sockeye ESU
- Ozette Lake sockeye (threatened)
At this time, no immediate regulations
will apply to state and private activities in the
areas where species are listed as threatened. However, because
it is listed as an
endangered species, any accidental or incidental "take"
of Upper Columbia River spring
chinook would require a permit. In the future, fisheries service
staff will work closely with
its partners to develop "tailor-made" regulations that
would include state and local
conservation initiatives. The fisheries service said that the
listing decisions would go
into effect in two months.
Garcia added that "Governors John
Kitzhaber and Gary Locke and many political
leaders in the region have committed to me their support and
willingness to do what it
takes to save these fish. We are serious about achieving that
goal and are committed to
working cooperatively with the states, counties, Indian tribal
governments and the
public to produce comprehensive conservation plans that build
on those partnerships to
restore salmon habitat and recover these fish. We must work together
to meet the
challenge and find the right path to recovery into the 21st century."
The agency is deferring, for six months,
its decision on four remaining chinook salmon
(ESUs): Snake River fall-run, southern Oregon and California
coastal, California Central
Valley fall-run and California Central Valley spring-run chinook.
The fisheries service will
use the six-month extension to resolve areas of scientific disagreement
ESUs. A final determination will be made in September. Garcia
said President Clinton's
FY2000 budget proposal asks Congress for $100 million for West
Coast and Alaska
salmon protection to help local and tribal efforts B some of
which are already underway
B in the three western states.
Under the Endangered Species Act, a species
likely to become extinct is categorized
as endangered. A species likely to become endangered within the
foreseeable future is
categorized as threatened.
Additional specific information related
to this decision, including maps and fact sheets,
STATEMENT BY COMMERCE SECRETARY
WILLIAM M. DALEY ON PACIFIC
is available on the fisheries service's Northwest region Web
site at www.nwr.noaa.gov.
After careful study, and consultation with
state and tribal scientists, the Commerce Department's National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is today listing as threatened
or endangered several groups of Pacific northwest salmon.
I believe this action is essential to protect
a valuable natural resource, a source of income and a symbol
of all that is so special about the Pacific Northwest.
I recognize the challenge we face in restoring
the great salmon runs. Therefore, I have directed NOAA to increase
resources devoted to the Pacific Northwest.
In addition, the administration has asked
Congress for $100 million, coordinated by the Department of Commerce,
that would go directly to state and local governments and Native
American tribes. These funds will help defray the costs of developing
and implementing plans to restore these fish to sustainable populations
and to protect and restore healthy streams and the clean water
upon which they -- and all of us B depend. Clean water, healthy
streams, and strong salmon runs go hand in hand.
I am committed to working in partnership
with the state and local communities on their conservation efforts.
It is only through these partnerships that we can ensure healthy
salmon populations, protect and restore our clean water and continue
to assure a vibrant economy for generations to come. I salute
the leadership of Governors Kitzhaber and Locke, the Tri-County
process and the many local leaders who have stepped forward with
clear and determined commitments. I pledge my efforts to build
these lasting and effective partnerships.
March 16, 1999