Monday, July 23, 2007

Politics meet science (again) over salmon

Once again we have a judge sticking up for science after government officials didn't bother. Oregon's coho salmon are in deep trouble, and a judge ordered stronger protection from state and federal fish agencies.

This is another in a long line of rulings necessary to get coho salmon on the road to recovery. The state of Oregon has preferred voluntary action (pretty please, timber companies, be nice to fish?), and the federal government said that sounds just fine. The latest action was to count farm-bred hatchery fish as part of salmon populations, so we can farm coho salmon back to recovery.

Scientsts called foul, and a federal judge agreed. Where is the scientific integrity of the government?

Blogfish has a strong fondness for coho salmon, and this is good news.

I belive strongly that we need to get people to invest in saving salmon. We can't just attack and pass outrageous laws and regulations and expect fish to bounce back. But we can't just say pretty please to the people who did the damage, and expect the fish to bounce back. The state of Oregon has been bending over too far to please property owners and resource users. A federal judge agreed, once again.

Sigh. deja vu all over again. My first salmon lawsuit was in the mid-1990s over the first ill-fated "Oregon salmon plan." I have a feeling this will become a lifelong pursuit.


thomas robey said...

Oregon: The rest of the country holds impressions of it as a green state (and by comparison, I think they are!), but when the other 'green' gets involved, lawmakers find it hard to choose...

Unknown said...

The Sky is Falling, The sky is falling!

You environmental whackos have got it all wrong.

There are more OCN coho and have been these last 5 or more years than there is habitat for them to spawn in. Logging practices are held to a minimum and grazing on the Oregon Coast is minimal at best.

The current Governor and the past Governor allowed the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to neglect coho habitat recovery projects by making the criter and money match to severe. Instead OWEB is doing the work of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife such as Smolt seining of outmigrants, land purchases that have nothing to do with coho habitat, recycling steelhead from the hatcheries back downstream for sport fishers to get a second chance to name a few.

OWEB, ODFW, and the Govrnor are dropping the ball on recovering coho habitat. Logging and Grazing are not the issue and there is no shortage of OCN Coho!
See ya