Another attack on Fish [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Another attack on Fish


jjohnson
12-01-2004, 12:25 PM
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/northwest/story/4260275p-4053172c.html

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002105390_salmon01m.html

Here we go.

You have to wonder if Bob Lohn actually believes some of the stuff that comes out of his agency.

JJ

sinktip
12-01-2004, 02:19 PM
Is George W. Bush the Anti-Salmon????? :lildevl:

Fish for 'em now boys as they will be gone soon.

Gillie
12-01-2004, 02:35 PM
If anyone out there who fly fishes or enjoys the outdoors voted to put this administration back into office should be ashamed of themself :tsk_tsk: .

Gillie

flytyer
12-01-2004, 03:08 PM
Did you guys happen to notice each article mentioned the federal courts ordered NOAA-Fisheries to include and consider the economic costs of protection and reach a ballance between protection and economic costs? Also, a federal judge in Spokane took the Columbia system dams (including all Snake River dams) off the table for consideration in protecting or re-establishing salmonids in the Columbia Basin in the order he issued last year, which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in late September of early October of this year.

Since the federal courts took the dams and how they are operated out of consideration for recovery or extirpation of salmon, and the federal courts have ordered NOAA-Fisheries to include economic costs in the recovery plan, it would appear NOAA-Fisheries is complying with what the courts have ordered. Would you prefer NOAA-Fisheries ignore the federal cout orders and have the courts appoint whom they wish to develop recovery plans and oversee them? Based on the federal court decisions the last few years regarding fish, I don't.

sinktip
12-01-2004, 03:48 PM
Russ,

I have no problem with a court ordered cost/benefit analysis on listings but I have a huge problem with removing from the equation 80% of habitat. It sounds great for the property rights side to claim that this only removes that habitat where there are no longer fish but if you step back and look at it, adopting their logic just cements the downward spiral. It is called "recovery" for a reason. If the stocks didn't need recovery, then current habitat might make some sense but they do need recovery and this, almost by definition, requires reclaiming of historical habitat. To my way of thinking, this decision is the same as ruling runs never will recover so current habitat is all they need.

Can the ever popular "carrying capacity" argument be far behind? And what happens when the runs continue to decline. Will this then mean there will even less habitat to protect?

I fear that coupled with the administrations belief in hatchery augmentation, the future of our wild stocks in indeed dire.

'tip

Doublespey
12-01-2004, 04:46 PM
but someone told me Dick Cheney is an avid flyfisherman! :eek:

Then again, he's also a hunter. He likes to shoot pheasant recently released from their pens on "private" hunting preserves. In fact, he recently bragged that he and his buddies had bagged almost 100 of these semi-domestic birds in a days shoot.

I can only imagine what he considers "good" flyfishing?

Yeah Gillie - I hear ya! It's pretty much what I expected too.

DS

flytyer
12-01-2004, 04:46 PM
Duggan,

I agree we need to have as much habitat as possible. However, I also know that the federal courts struck a blow to Montana's efforts to preserve or restore upstream habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat. And I'm afraid what we are seeing is NOAA-Fisheries reacting to these court rulings.

There is also the problem of above dam habitat, such as that on the Columbia above Grand Coulee Dam, the Clearwater above Windchester Dam, or the Snake above the Salmon. Salmon and steelhead have not been able to make it up there for years. Or the upper Deschutes or Rogue, where steelhead have also not been able to access the upper river and tributaries for years. The Skokomish is another one where dams have blocked access to the upper watershed for years. Are we to include the upriver areas of these rivers for restoration of anadromous fish?

Gillie
12-01-2004, 05:07 PM
Flytyer,
There does need to be moderation in managing fisheries vs. economy and other interests. However. the court ruling only said that these issues needed to be weighed against each other. The Bush adminstration has appointed people to the posts that make the decisions who have no interest in conservation. They are former members of the lumber industry and lawyers who have made their careers helping companies evade EPA regulations and hide their pollution. The courts may have limited efforts but the current administration has gladly taken advantage of the oppurtunity to repay big business and pilage the environment.

Gillie

loophitech
12-01-2004, 05:17 PM
If anyone out there who fly fishes or enjoys the outdoors voted to put this administration back into office should be ashamed of themself . Gillie

Why should anyone be ashamed for their participation in re-electing this administration? HILARIOUS!

sinktip
12-01-2004, 05:50 PM
Russ,

I suppose we could all sit here and bring up cases in the extreme. The bottom line for me is the question if the present administration is friendly to fish and the environment. Regardless of interaction by other variables such as congress or the courts, is the Bush admin fish friendly?

For me the answer is a resounding no! The overall pattern shows an administration that rates the worst on the environment in at least the last 50 years if not since before Teddy R.

Duggan

Brian Simonseth
12-01-2004, 06:14 PM
This is a SAD day in the PNW!

I'm meeting with two different Watershed Groups tommorow about this.

jjohnson
12-01-2004, 06:28 PM
Russ,

I don't have a problem with weighing economic impact in the situation. But NOAA only takes that to include cost and refuses to include the benifits from fish recovery. Case in point the Bull trout paper from montana. They only added up the negatives not any of the positives from having a healthy fishery by getting more tourist dollars. Come on please at least give some semblance of fairness.

They were told to weigh it not how much to weigh it. They are making that call themselves. Just like the Hogan decision left it up to them to either change policy and count rainbows and hatchery fish or to just change their definitions within the ESU and they choose the first option not the sensible second open.

Courts are asking them to reconsider and show they looked at issues and considered them they aren't telling them how to implement them. And you now that.

JJ

kjackson
12-01-2004, 06:41 PM
For those who would like to see what is proposed, check this out: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/crithab/CHsite.htm It's a page that covers the recent proposal.

Note the word: proposal. From reading the knee-jerk reactions here, you'd think that the process of excluding or adding watersheds was an accomplished fact. Nothing has been finished except a response to a court decision.

If you disagree with the proposal as put forth by NOAA, then you have about six months in which to reply.

sinktip
12-01-2004, 07:07 PM
Some of us "knee-jerkers" have already started working on the testimony phase.

To paraphrase Winston Churhill, it is far better to fight and die with little chance of victory than to live in servitude. :lildevl:

flytyer
12-01-2004, 08:33 PM
Gillie, Duggan, JJ,


I've just got done reading the first 50 pages of the 400 page recovery plan written for the federal registry. Interesting ready to say the least. In these pages, it is clear that NOAA-Fisheries was required by a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to change how economic impact analysis was being done by FWS because the 10th circuit rejected how Fisheries was doing the analysis. Therefore, the courts are most certainly telling NOAA-Fisheries how to do some things in the plan and not letting it up to NOAA-F to decide how. NOAA-F cannot include things like possilbe tourist dollars in its economic analysis as a result of this ruling. Also, the 10th circuit ruling requires NOAA-F to include the economic benefits of development over biological benefits of habitat. To say the 10th circuit's ruling on how and what NOAA-F includes or can include in its economic analysis has no impact on how NOAA-F can do so, is disengenuous.

It is also clear, that NOAA-Fisheries isusing info gathered by tribal and state fisheries biologist and 400 salmon recovery groups to find where in a specific subbasin and basin salmon and steelhead actually exist or existed in the past. This is different from relying on USGS maps and not actual evidence of fish existence in the court rejeted 2000 plan.

The new plan also designates new critical esturarine and near shore ares, which were not in the 2000 plan.

I for one will be reading the whole 400+ pages of the proposal and not relying on short (in comparison to the 400+ page original document), several paragraph "newsbites" our newspapers are carrying on this very important issue. Even the headline in my local newspaper, Skagit Valley Herald, makes it appear the Bush administration is going to abandon habitat protection. The headline is: Bush plan would cut habitat for NW salmon. The article has 10 short paragraphs on the proposal, 1 paragraph on the National Homebuilder's Association reaction to the proposal (of course they like it, they were the ones who sued to have the original habitat plan changed), and 2 paragraphs on the reaction to the proposal from 2 environmental groups. One can hardly synopse a 400+ page proposal in 10 paragraphs.

The same article then goes on talking about NOAA-F's response to the Spokane and 9th circuit rulings on the Snake and Columbia River dams for an additional 7 paragraphs, none of which say a thing about NOAA-F's proposal, instead focusing on what the Columbia Basin tribes and some environmentalists think of it and one paragraph on how the grain growers who use the rivers for transporting grain feel about it. But not a word on what NOAA-F has proposed in response to the court rulings.

I learned far more from reading the 1st 50 pages of NOAA-F's 400+ page proposal than I did from what has been in the newspapers. The newspapers are reporting it as the sky is falling, when the actual proposal is far different than what is being protrayed by the news outlets.

juro
12-02-2004, 09:36 AM
Administrations and their apointees certainly do affect the welfare of the species. For example, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt got the Elwha Damn removed; unless this administration kills it. His predecessor, former Secretary of the Interior James Watt, had to be stopped before strip mining Yellowstone. He came to meet with Gorton (yes, the same Gorton's of Gloucester Massachusetts fame who over-fish Georges and Stellwagen Bank) to conspire about opening old growth harvest in the OP.

There are many things I admire about the party, but their total disregard for the environment and priority for exploitation over preservation is not one of these things. So in a sense, although the wording was harsh in the above post it's true that there is a certain contradiction in supporting this administration while at the same time claiming to be, or actually being concerned about things like the environment and the creatures that rely on it.

If nothing else there will be a lot of work trying to stop underhanded exploits during this administration, no doubt. I have the feeling that letting up for even a minute will mean big losses that will be paid for by generations to come.

We have a lot of people here, so if there is a good plan put together I am sure we can get some pressure going in a positive direction and stop the eminent slide.

.02

OC
12-02-2004, 11:03 AM
Anyone want to make a bet that it stays above 70 %. Russ my good friend and KJ your in denial. Even if it was the courts, where is Bush on speaking out against the courts? He sure knows how to speak out against the courts on gay rights issues and abortion does he not. This is a sick, very sick man who will succeed in destroying the USA. He and his addministration are changing what America has stood for from its begining, TJ must be spilling tears from his grave as we speak.

Dick Chaney what a wonderful man. I had dinner with a senior scientist from the EPA a few weeks ago. This person told us how many of the very best scientists in DC have quit and how moral is at an all time low. Mr Cheney even sent a memo down to this scientist saying that if anyone in that office tries to prosecute any company that deals in defense research for pollution that they will be delt with in the most harshest of ways. Nice eh! Does that mean you will be just fired or does it mean more, far, far more than that? Russ, these are your thugs, stop being in denial and begin to get mad that our country is going to hell faster than anyone could have ever imagined 4 years ago.

sinktip
12-02-2004, 11:03 AM
Well said Juro.

loco_alto
12-02-2004, 12:23 PM
There is also the problem of above dam habitat, such as that on the Columbia above Grand Coulee Dam, the Clearwater above Windchester Dam, or the Snake above the Salmon. Salmon and steelhead have not been able to make it up there for years. Or the upper Deschutes or Rogue, where steelhead have also not been able to access the upper river and tributaries for years. The Skokomish is another one where dams have blocked access to the upper watershed for years. Are we to include the upriver areas of these rivers for restoration of anadromous fish?


Russ, in case you are unaware, a pilot effort is underway in Oregon to restore anadromous fish in the Metolius River, above Pelton Dam on the Deschutes.

I consider it pretty short sighted to exclude these regions above dams when we've only started to explore how to open them up again.

So yes, we should include these areas above dams for restoration of anadromous fish. Absolutely. We're doing it right now.

beau purvis
12-02-2004, 12:51 PM
answer to one person's ? about our VP's fishing taste.he was a regular at the Silver hHilton on the Babine and ,I believe he has fished the Dean before his present job priority took hold.Beau

kjackson
12-02-2004, 01:55 PM
Maybe as OC says, I'm in denial, but the things I'm reading in the press, on the net, and in the abstracts of the report don't add up.

The confusion comes, I think, from the idea that critical habitat protection under the ESA is the same as ALL habitat protection. As I read the report (and I haven't the tolerance for government-speak that Russ has), the issue is removal of ESA protection mandates from those lands not deemed critical to the survival of an evolutionary signifcant unit.

When NOAA first laid its most recent habitat plans down in 2000, they did a quick and dirty job without a lot of evaluation. For example, that led to inclusion of lands such as those in the Columbia above Grand Coulee, a stretch of river that hasn't seen anadramous salmon since the 1930s or whenever the dam was completed. However, the bulk of the shoreline in 186-mile-long Lake Roosevelt is in national monument status and protected or in Indian reservation (excluded). What would be protected here by additional regulation? Why spend the resources and monies on regulation and enforcement here when the resources could be better spent on off-channel habitat on the Skagit or restoring the estuary mouth of the Dungeness or hundreds of other projects that would have an actual impact?

After all, Washington has several laws currently on the books in regards to development along streams and in critical areas. Doesn't Oregon have the same? California?

I'm not pro-development, and I have no mercy for anyone stupid enough to build or buy a house on a flood plain, but I am absolutely against the idea that preservation is the only answer. I do feel that those who champion the idea of locking up everything are doing less good than they think and more harm than they know.

My $.02,

Keith

OC
12-02-2004, 03:33 PM
Keith,

I really don't know anyone even the far left enviros who are against responsible growth. Just more Bs spin from the want it all right, like the builders association.

The area you mention above the dam is important to Salmon and steelhead. Even if another fish never migrates above the dam for another thousand years or untill the dam falls down on it's own that is still critical habitat. Reason, if that land is put into industrial farming which it will that will mean more water consumption for crops and less water for an already water starved river. That water used, millions of cubic acres are needed to bring smolts safetly down river. With the greed of the power companies and now industrial agriculture wanting more and that is what is being sought after here more agricultural land and more water. This is industrial ag who wants that 80 percent, the builder association front is just an easier way of getting people to say it is justified. There could not be enough homes and strip malls built in those arid regions to make a difference. Those are problems for the Sky, and skagit.

Water is the war here, look behind the curtain and see who is pulling the levers. I feel sorry for the small farmer who will celibrate this move. Because in the end big business will use this to run them out the way of life they believe in and not those who want to make sure fish are protected.

By 2020 water will become the # one demand and oil will be second.
Fish can not protect themselves from human greed but we humans can make the needed sacrifise needed to have a quality life for all creatures. We just have to identify the bottom line which is greed, more profits to satisfy the one percent. When you and me and most of us can not fish for the fish we love, your buddie Dick Chaney will still be fishing the private water of the Dean, Eastern Russia and beyond. Those waters will not be touched as they will be off limits for only the rich to continue on with the fine tradition of fly fishing for wild steelhead.

flytyer
12-02-2004, 03:36 PM
OC my friend, I may well be in denial; however, excluding the area above Grand Coulee, above the Snake River dam upstream of the Salmon River, above Dworshack on the Middle Clearwater is not going to hurt the recovery efforts of anadromous fish on these rivers. The only way to have the area above each of these dams, which is a considerable area, available to the fish would to tear each of the dams out, and the federal courts have already taken that off the table unless Congress passes a law allowing it and provides the money to to do.

Folks,

Like Keith, I've found what is in the press, the news, and the abstracts is confusing and conflict with each other. That is why I've gone to the actual 400= page proposal document itself.

The original year 2000 plan did not rely on historical records of fish actually swimming in the complete watershed. It simply took a look at a USGS map and decided every stream and river in the watershed held anadromous fish, whether it ever did or didn't. Things like natural barriers, waterfalls for instance, weren't even considered. That is bad science no matter how you look at it, and is why the courts did not approve it when it was challenged. The new plan is taking a less expansive brush and using actual historic and biologic data of anadromous fish being present in a stream within the basin or subbasin for inclusion as "critical habitat", and this is basing things on science.

Keith is correct, only lands deemed "critical to the surival of the species" can be included in "critical habitat" designation and protection. There is a lot of land with a basin or subbasin that will never meet the legal requirement of "critical to the survial of the species" and if it is not excluded from "critical habitat" designations, more lawsuits and more court involvment will ensue, all the while the areas that are critical habitat are in a free-for-all status, which I'm sure many in the mining and logging industries love because they can file suits to have the courts open them for logging or mine development or exploration. And I don't want to see that since I know how well mining companies have taken care of the land and resources over the years. The logging industry hasn't done a stellar job either.

flytyer
12-02-2004, 03:48 PM
I forgot to include in my last post that the Columbia Basin dams and how they are operated, including all tributary dams on the Snake and above Grand Coulee, were taken off the table for consideration of impacts on anadromous fish by the federal district court in Spokane and by the affirmation of the Spokane district ruling by the 9th circuit this past September. The courts ruled that the dams can be operated as the Corp of Engineers sees as proper and necessary because in the court's view, there is no evidence saying that changing the way the dams are operated or removing any of them will improve fish survival. The judge said there well may be negative impacts from the dams, but at this time there is no absolute evidence that changing how the dams are operated will increase the abundance of the fish. The ruling also said that the assertion of "possibly, or highly probable" does not meet the legal requirement of either the ESA or the Clean Water Act.

I wish it were different, but this is what NOAA-F must live within and the rest of us must accept. Unless we can persuade Congree to pass legislatiion altering both the ESA and the Clean Water Act to allow for "possibly or highly probably or we believe". I don't want to see either law revisisted because industry will be there in force and will be doing its best to get other changes that would weaken these laws.

kjackson
12-02-2004, 04:09 PM
OC-- Uh, you're not talking about Roosevelt as the river above the dam, right? If you are, you're mistaking it for the Basin or the Snake. Open lands on Lake Roosevelt are in national monument status, which is one step below being a national park, and those lands are administered by the NPS. To pull those lands out of habitat protection would probably take an act of Congress and not just a bureaucratic shuffle by NOAA.

But even if they were, the only farmable lands are on the Colville rez, and that is off the table, says the court. This rez runs from Grand Coulee up the west side of the reservoir nearly to Colville. The east side of the reservoir would be impractical to farm except in limited benchlands-- areas so small as to be uninteresting to corporate farms simply because you're talking parcels of less than 50 acres that are widely scattered. Most of the reservoir shorelands are steep and rocky. There is very limited private ownership on the lake. For about 15 years, I spent a lot of time on that lake, fishing it from just above Colville down to the dam. Beautiful water it is, and I know it fairly well.

I think you're on the money with your thoughts about water, though. I can see corporate farms in the basin wanting more for less money and trying to suck more water out of Roosevelt to do it. That's something that must be discouraged...

Keith

OC
12-02-2004, 05:06 PM
You are right about the land above the Grand Coulee but what I'm getting at is if this land is taken off the list then using that water will be justified anywhere along the river. Sort of like a credit. The flows of feeder steams and rivers where no fish exist anymore will be credited to other places in the basins or in the flats of S Idaho. If Salmon don't spawn there anymore, if smolts don't grow there before migrating down the columbia any more than that water will be used for agriculture and power consumption and it wont matter where on the river it is taken from. This is how it is done now when we talk about environmental issues. One only has to look at industry and air pollution, one company can sell credits to another company so they do not have to change their way of existance. Once that 80% removal takes place it will justify taking water from any non Salmon bearing stream. If one stream has a yearly flow of 10 million cubic feet per year but bears no salmon a large portion of that water will be taken. As it stands now water must be left in those streams because it is marked ESA which means the Columbia has more flow. I think that is what Jim Lyons had in mind as under secratary of agriculture when he drew up the ESA listing on Columbia Basin Salmon. Developement was secondary of those lands but it was the only way to protect water flow by having such restrictions.

There are some protections as far as flow in the Columbia goes but we have already watched the power companies sucsessfully attack those protections. Now the ag industry, the water districts who are owned by the ag industry want more water to expand. First you get the land declassified then you have a great chance in federal court to change the water use in their favor. The Bush addministration knows this, the ag and land rights lobby knows this because they work together on round abouts. It will all be done legal like because they can, it is the plan of the powers that be. Again this is not a small owner right issue as they want us to believe, it is the biggest of power trips one can imagine.

jjohnson
12-02-2004, 05:45 PM
Russ,

I haven't gotten as far as you on reading things but so far I can only find where NOAA-F is mandated to consider the economic impacts. I don't see where it says only negative impacts as you say. Can you point me to the place where it says that?

thanks

JJ

kjackson
12-02-2004, 07:06 PM
OC-- I did a google search on the subject of water withdrawals in the Columbia as your proposed scenario bothered me. I've only skimmed the following link, but it's worth reading to clarify things a bit.

http://www.columbiariver.org/main_pages/readings/su/anderson.htm

Currently, no additional water withdrawals (withdrawals cannot exceed what is currently allowed) will be allowed from the Columbia, according to NMFS, now NOAA-Fisheries. Certainly, that could change. Something else interested me-- the statement by this researcher (from the UW) that increasing flows in the Snake by 50 percent only increased adult returns by 1 to 2 percent. The economic analysis said the gain from increased sport fishing was only $2 million while the economic loss was $50 million.

I can certainly see where the "screw the fish" guys are coming from...


I do think the info is dated, and certainly the economic impact of sport fisheries is wrong, given some of the recent studies I've seen. However, it may be that low because the 1-2 percent increase didn't allow much in the way of opportunity.

All in all, a fascinating subject.

Keith

JDJones
12-02-2004, 07:57 PM
When are you guys going to face up to the fact that money talks. And big money talks louder then small money. Parties be damned. Money will buy either of them. And has. And if you take what is in the news papers and network TV verbatum,,,,well you may as well put on a wool coat and learn to say bah, bahhhhh.

There are no saints in politics. Much as we would all like to have our savior in office, it ain't gonna' happen. There is no such person. Period!

So, the question is, would you rather fight for the fish? A worthy cause indeed. Or would you rather have to fight for something else? Your job, your lifestyle? Perhaps your very existance?

sinktip
12-02-2004, 08:15 PM
JD,

This is the second time you have hinted at the "what would you like to fight for" argument. I am fairly sure if anyone takes that bait, and oh, I really want to :biggrin: , Andre will shut this thread down faster than an RPG in Bagdad. The issue here, while political, is fish. I think we better try and keep it that way.



Everyone else,

I have to run to a meeting but I would like to throw out the concept of resident rainbows being a safety-net for steelhead populations. It seems to me that once you start removing critical habitat among natural barriers (maybe say Sunset Falls), you have dealt steelhead a significant blow. My point is, at least in the case of steelhead, upriver habitiat is crucial, regardless if it is used by anadromous fish currently (or ever).

Thoughts?

JDJones
12-02-2004, 08:46 PM
JD,

This is the second time you have hinted at the "what would you like to fight for" argument. I am fairly sure if anyone takes that bait, and oh, I really want to :biggrin: , Andre will shut this thread down faster than an RPG in Bagdad. The issue here, while political, is fish. I think we better try and keep it that way.


Excuse me? First time on this thread. I would rather leave politics out of it altogether becuase, like you said, this is a fly fishing forum. But when others are so blind as to just look for a skape goat whenever the envirionment is discussed,,,,,someone needs to speak up.

Off my soap box. and unsubscribed from this thread.

flytyer
12-02-2004, 09:26 PM
JJ,

The things not allowed to be considered in NOAA-F's economic analysis are the result of the 10th circuit's ruling in New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 248 F. 3d 1277, 20 U.S. Cir. 2001. This suit was brought against FWS (now NOAA-F) because the Cattlemen didn't think that possible increases in tourism dollars (which included guide fees and sales of fishing, hiking, camping, and hunting equipment) were proper to use in the economic analysis. Unfortunately, they won and it was used in the federal lawsuit filed in WA DC federal district court that asked the court to abandon the 2000 NOAA-F plan for the northwest. The WA DC case was vacated by the court after NOAA-F agreed to a settlement that included re-writing the 2000 recovery plan and a promise by NOAA-F to not include those items in their economic analysis the 10th circuit said couldn't be used in the Cattlemens suit.

Whiskey Dick
12-02-2004, 09:55 PM
Russ, in case you are unaware, a pilot effort is underway in Oregon to restore anadromous fish in the Metolius River, above Pelton Dam on the Deschutes.

I consider it pretty short sighted to exclude these regions above dams when we've only started to explore how to open them up again.

So yes, we should include these areas above dams for restoration of anadromous fish. Absolutely. We're doing it right now.

loco_alto can you please point me in the right direction for info about this.My info about Pelton dam was now it has been relicensed and the tribe have 50% control there was no way the fish ladder around the dam would be used. Any info would be apreciated, thanks,brian

jjohnson
12-03-2004, 12:11 PM
Russ Ok You state that and I want to believe you but from the little bit I read I don't see that in the analysis that you stated you read from the previous link. Sorry it is my engineering back ground to check and recheck facts.

JJ

Brian Simonseth
12-03-2004, 02:06 PM
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002106279_salmon02.html

Administration's salmon approach has been tried and failed
By David R. Montgomery
Special to The Times

AS the Pacific Northwest debates the Bush administration's recent proposal to count hatchery fish alongside wild fish in applying the Endangered Species Act and its new plan to cut back critical-areas protections it is worth considering the historical track record of such strategies in bolstering salmon runs.
If those laboring to restore wild salmon in the Northwest look to the past, they will find an important lesson salmon-management efforts that put too much faith in hatcheries, and too little effort into habitat restoration, have failed time and time again.

In the mid-1800s, an experimental salmon hatchery on the River Tay began trying to rebuild Scotland's salmon. William Brown argued that by rearing salmon in a hatchery and protecting young fish from natural predators, he would greatly increase the return of adult fish. For Brown, hatcheries provided an easy answer to the problem that overfishing reduced the number of fish to be caught: Just make more fish.

Because the Bush administration's new approach to salmon management seems to adopt Brown's vision, it is worth asking how well that vision has worked in the past.

During the wave of initial enthusiasm for salmon breeding, the British government established its first hatchery in 1868. Additional hatcheries soon spread across the British Isles, rearing salmon fry and then releasing them into streams and rivers. Although hopes were high that hatcheries would restock barren English rivers, the results were disappointing. British enthusiasm for reliance upon hatcheries soon faded as those hopes proved illusory for all but the few rivers where the natural habitat remained intact and productive.

Across the Atlantic, the first American salmon hatchery produced an impressive 70,000 eggs in 1870 to begin restocking Maine's rivers. Four years later, at the peak of the stocking program, more than 3 million eggs were shipped all over New England.

Initially, hatchery operations were seen as a key element in a broad program to rebuild the region's decimated salmon runs. But while the hatcheries were built, provisions for maintaining fish passage over dams, protecting habitat and preventing overfishing were implemented haphazardly, if at all. By the turn of the century, New England's once-thriving salmon runs were pretty much history.

Failure of early hatchery programs raised some serious concerns for fishery officials. In his official report for 1895, the U.S. commissioner of fish and fisheries, Marshall McDonald, concluded that reliance on hatcheries to sustain salmon production was unwise unless coupled with habitat protection and limitations on fishing intensity.

But this warning did little to dampen the enthusiasm for "salmon factories," which kept growing as salmon populations kept falling.

In the Northwest, the hatchery at Bonneville Dam became the central facility of a network of hatcheries throughout the Columbia River Basin. Still, the millions of fry released into the Columbia every year added little to the total number of fish caught in the commercial fishery that the hatcheries were supposed to enhance. Evidence for a beneficial impact of hatcheries remained elusive.

In the 1930s, John Cobb, dean of the College of Fisheries at the University of Washington, cautioned that overoptimism in the ability of hatcheries to maintain salmon runs in the face of ongoing habitat loss would eventually destroy the fishery.

Now, as we stand at the beginning of the 21st century, the Bush administration's policy seems tailored to lead us backward. The controversial and counterintuitive policy which has been criticized by the administration's own panel of preeminent scientists could extend protections to hatchery fish while denying protections to runs of legitimately endangered wild salmon.

By using large numbers of hatchery fish to mask the real problems of environmental degradation in the streams, the policy could open the door to continuing harmful practices. In other words, we seem poised to repeat the experience of England and New England.

Put simply, history shows little, if any, evidence that hatchery-based fisheries can be sustained over the long run in the face of habitat degradation.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the historic reliance on hatchery production to sustain salmon populations is that the system has created the illusion that hatcheries can make up for the environmental degradation and overfishing that led to declining salmon runs in the first place.

This illusion deceived the public and policymakers into believing that we can sustain production of a valuable, renewable and culturally important resource while simultaneously degrading the environment and the conditions upon which that production depends.

David R. Montgomery is a professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington and author of "King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon" (Westview Press, 2003).
Copyright 2004 The Seattle Times Company

OC
12-03-2004, 03:25 PM
Keith,

First of all I am not against republican fly fishermen, we need republican as much as we need dems to make this country work. But I am shocked that any fly fisherman in this country knowing the beauty of the river would have voted for George Bush. My respect for the republican party is great but like many republicans I know they are saddened that George Bush and his small group of outlaws selected the republican party to run for office. It is my hope that we can take back the republican party from such sick leaders and get more to the middle of the road where our enviro politics belong. I know some here will say that the dems are too far left. Wrong the dems are far more middle of the road on all issues now than what we see on the other side.

Did read the papers on the site site you posted and then did a little research.

Top paper was by James J Anderson. Anderson over the last 20 years of salmon research has been funded by Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries, Bonneville Power Administration and Washington state. Ever notice how independent drug research funded by the drug comanies always favor the drug companies?

Second paper was by James L Buchal. He has represented just about every industry against the federal goverment in court over salmon. And most of all he is the author of The Great Salmon Hoax, the bible of industry and those who want to use the river for their own personal greed.

The paper by David Mc Closkey seemed very balanced and I hope all read it because the ideas he puts foreward are important. Anyone know what happened to McCloskey or who he is working for now?

By the way Andersons comment about 50 million loss is way off. The rocky reach dam durring the smolt migration about 80 days or a little more makes an extra 800,000 dollars a day because they do not have to control water flow through the dam like the other power companies. Reason being they made the investment of 180 million dollars in a smolt by pass program that seems to be working very well.
Also his comment on 1 or 2 % difference is very dangerous. Does that include all Salmon and steelhead both hatchery and wild? Could the % be much higher for wild smolts? he prestents no numbers for that. By the way Bonneville power used his % numbers in winning the recent court ruling that they can use more water when they see fit. After a few phone calls last night it looks like this court ruling on water use and if the 80 % goes through we are perfectly set up for court once again to take far more water than any of us can imagine. Past rules and water laws mean nothing now.

It's time more than ever to balance human needs and fish. If we don't then both will loose.

flytyer
12-03-2004, 04:53 PM
OC,

Like I've been saying, the courts have been setting the stage for the fish to lose annd the developers, miners, power companies, loggers to win. Unfortunately, the judges who are making these decisions are appointed for life, unless they resign or are impeached be the House and sent packing by the Senate, a very unlikely scenario. And you are right, past rules and water laws are being put into limbo or outright negated by these federal court decisions.

I agree, 2 of the studies are suspect and the 3rd looks ballanced on its face.

o mykiss
12-03-2004, 06:19 PM
Flytyer, you make the point repeatedly that NOAA is just doing what the courts are requiring them to do. Someone else has already made the point, but it is interesting that when a court decision goes against this administration (such as some of the cases on "enemy combatants"), it does not hesitate to challenge the decision. You have to admit that the outcome of cases like Alsea Valley Alliance, etc. most likely would have been different if the administration had put as much energy into defending pre-existing ESA policies relating to listed fish as they have the Patriot Act. There is a fraternity of pro-development, pro-industrial agriculture, pro-property rights, pro-natural resources exploitation, pro-hydropower lawyers, of which guys like Bob Lohn and Mark Rutzick are members, that have been waging an all out battle for the last twenty years to shape case law under environmental laws like the ESA and CWA to be more friendly to these interests. And gradually they have been winning that battle. But don't you find it a little creepy that the guys who have been so instrumental in shaping the case law to be less friendly to conservation interests are now writing regulations on things like salmon recovery and saying their hands are bound by case law that they (or other members of the fraternity) helped shape? It's way twisted to me.

You also are trying to characterize this proposal as taking off the critical habitat designation list only those places that can no longer physically harbor listed species (e.g., reaches above impassable dams). That is an oversimplification. The proposal is pretty straightforward in stating that only those areas where listed species (i) have actually been observed and (ii) are presumed to occur by biologists with local area expertise will be designated as critical habitat. The NOAA proposals also basically says "we're not even sure that a biologist's expert presumption is good enough to support a CHD, and all you have to tell us is that you agree and we'll even take that habitat off the list." OC predicted it that we'll end up with at least 70% of the designated critical habitat off the list. Given the NOAA's easily discernible inclination to limit CHDs only to those areas where listed species have actually been observed, I'm predicting between 85 - 90%. But give me a break: even if the line were held at 80%, that's way less than these species' historical ranges, and is going to leave lots of habitat that could contribute to long-term recovery with less protection than it deserves.

It is pretty clear to me that the bottom line of the Bush Administration's steelhead and salmon policy (not just this proposal, but everything in combination, including the Columbia/Snake biological opinion, hatchery listing policy, etc.) is to do just enough to leave them in a perpetually endangered or threatened state. The feds now believe the ESA only requires them to try to avoid the extirpation of listed species, not recover them to a point where they are no longer endangered or threatened. The cards are stacked pretty high against meaningful recovery when the courts are ever-packed with Reagan, Bush I and Bush II appointees, when anti-conservation interest groups are spending ever more money to change the case law under the ESA and other environmental laws, when the Congress is packed with more anti-conservation conservatives than ever, when the White House and the vice president's residence is occupied by anti-conservation conservatives, and guys who last year or 5 or 10 years ago were trying to tear down government efforts to conserve endangered and threatened fish are now writing and enforcing the regulations that are supposed to ensure their continued existence.

kjackson
12-03-2004, 06:22 PM
OC-- I'm going to apologize right off the bat because I can't give your answers the thought they deserve at the moment. I've been on the computer for 8-12 hours a day since Thanksgiving and eye strain and twinges of what might be carpal tunnel syndrome in a wrist (not my casting wrist, thank god)-- as well as a burning need to get on the water-- will keep this brief.

I haven't read any of the studies I linked except a brief skim on the one about water rights in the Columbia.

I wanted to clarify a couple of points before I jog off to the next task.

My objection to the tenor of this thread comes from the "Bush is evil" camp that alludes to many things that the administration does that are mandated by the courts. I also object to the disinformation and half-truths spread by some in the environmental movement just to prove a point-- just as I'm deeply offended as a journalist by newspaper folks who put slant into a news story (that is picked up and then disseminated as truth by those who are into the conspiracy thing). I've come to suspect virtually everything that's come out of the environmental camp these days that starts with the words, "The Bush administration..." because so much of it is incorrect and in turn is just so much propaganda.

We shouldn't be making environmental decisions based on propaganda, partisan politics, or greed. We do have to look at the economics of these situations because funding is limited (as it has been from every administration), and the monies spent protecting salmon-less territory far removed from a stream are monies that can't be spent to restore estuaries, increase off-channel habitat, replace culverts and protect stream banks. Simply locking things up doesn't protect them, and in some cases does just the opposite.

That's the base from which I operate. I firmly believe in protection where it's appropriate, and I believe that there are great gains to be made that are being ignored.

And now I'm being paged.

Keith

jjohnson
12-03-2004, 06:34 PM
O MYkiss hit it right on the head. The administration and remember I consider myself a conservative (not a republican anymore) has choosen not appeal anything or in the case of hogan decision to change the definition of and ESU not to include hatchery fish which would have been far easier then what they are doing. Sure the courts are ruling against fish but the admin is making the decision not appeal or do the easier route and change definitions. Selective appealing tells you where priorities are or rather where their priorities aren't.

JJ

OC
12-03-2004, 07:42 PM
Keith,

Like you I am tired too. Just want to go down to the Hood Canal to my boat and read for the weekend. I can't believe I'm saying this but maybe some day soon we will get together to fish SRC. I would like it and I think it would be interesting for both of us.

Tell me honestly where the movement spreads half truths and disimformation, I think we all want to know as most of us work hard on issues such as these.

Why do many of us call bush evil? I'll only go on the enviro issues. The story I'll tell is interesting, I will not use names so if you want to call it bs with out backup I understand. Through freinds I have met some very interesting people, very high up in previous addministrations both sides by the way. When they are in town to lecture on enviro issues I sometimes get a call to come out and have a beer with them. I have learned a lot sitting at a table listening to how the game of politics are played in DC. It amazes me how there is no hatred toward the other side no matter how nasty it got in the past because in the end even though both sides asked for a mile they comprimised and each side got a foot. One of these beer drinkers I know has sat before many US senate sub committy meetings in the hot seat. He has even had MR frozen fish mogal you know who try and get him dissmissed. But the story told they in turn after such a meeting would go out and drink beer together or maybe meet a month latter to fish in Yellowstone National Park. There job was just that and things would always find the even spot eventually.

From what both of these people tell me now and one is or was a strong republican that things have changed and the Bush addmin is bent on total and complete destruction of our environmental laws. There is no longer that knowlege that in the end we will find common ground that gives both sides of the argument room to breath. It has become the time for big business to take controll and squeeze it to the max. Even my republican friend and believe me he is very old republican has learned through experience to hate not republicans of common sense but the addministration that has changed the slow but constructive way business was done in Washington. He is so concerned that there is no spirit debate on all issues with this addministration not just enviro subject matter. I know we outsidders of DC always complain that the goverment is slow and is wasteful and so on. But having to listen to them the last 6 years or so I learned that goverment did work and in the end through the entire game things good for both sides got accomplished. From what I see and what I hear this is not the truth anymore it has become very one sided, it is no longer a democracy when the average guy like you and me get dunbed down to agreeing with the ripping off our heratige.

I will continue to call this man bush evil and anyone else that wants to destroy the process of democracy.

All have a good weekend.

o mykiss
12-03-2004, 08:18 PM
We do have to look at the economics of these situations because funding is limited (as it has been from every administration), and the monies spent protecting salmon-less territory far removed from a stream are monies that can't be spent to restore estuaries, increase off-channel habitat, replace culverts and protect stream banks.
Keith

Hmmm . . . NOAA's estimate of the cost of the Columbia/Snake recovery plan is $6 billion over 10 years. The bottom line objective of that plan (aside from salmon/steelhead recovery) is to preserve the four lower Snake River dams. Funding does not appear to be limited when it's needed to keep the barge industry afloat, provide cheap irrigation for agriculture operations in an area of the world that mother nature did not design for agriculture, subsidize cheap electricity rates in the PNW, and provide jobs for a few dozen Army Corps and Bureau of Reclamation employees. I kind of think we've ignored the economics of that particular recovery problem.

flytyer
12-04-2004, 03:35 AM
O mykiss,

The Spokane federal district court (and the 9th circuit court of appeals affirmed this ruling it late September of this year) took the opearation of the Columbia River and its upriver tributary dams (inlcuding the lower Snake dams and the dams on Montana's Clark Fork and Kooteney) along with all Snake river tributary dams off the table by ruling that the dams can be operated as the Army Corp of Engineers deems proper and necessary. This includes eliminating consideration of breaching or removing any of the lower snake River dams. And the 9th circuit is hardly a conservative court, it is in fact, considered the most liberal of the circuit courts of appeals. This suit was brought by power producers, irrigators, shippers, and wheat growers. Unfortunately, the courts have ruled and NOAA-F can't include changes in dam operations in its recovery plan because of this court action.

This is what I was talking about when I said the courts were invalidating parts of the ESA and CWA. And what I and I think OC were talking about when we said that the courts are changing water law in the west and vacating decades of water use practices and rules. I'm very concerned about this because I don't want to see large scale agribusiness get what they want. If they do, I think you will see the Columbia used in a way somewhat like the California Delta is being used by big agribusiness, which is not good for fish to say the least.

And like Keith, I want people acting on the basis of the facts driving some of the things NOAA-F is doing, not propaganda. And we must not forget that NOAA-F under the current administration won on the Methow and Okanagon irrigation water lawsuit this past spring that was brought against them by the irrigators, ranchers, farmers, and orchardist. And NOAA-F won this summer in the Sacramento River case where the irrigators, farmers, orchardists in the Sacramento Basin wanted to have the court delist steelhead from the threatened status NOAA-F gave them. To say the current administration and NOAA-F are not interested in helping preserve fish and habitat certainly was not the case in this two instances. That is why I have a problem with folks automatically parrotting the mantra that the "Bush administration is killing the environment".

This is also why I speak about the court decisions (some of which were affirmed by the 9th circuit court or which came from a different circuit court, which a federal district court used in its ruling) that ordered NOAA-F to rewrite plans and change how they do economic analyses. In other words, not all of this is coming from the administration. A good bit of it is NOAA-F simply responding to what the courts imposed on them.

kjackson
12-04-2004, 12:56 PM
OC--

I'm still not able to devote as much time as this subject needs, but I'll hit the highlights of my objections. On the half-truths and falsehoods issue from the extreme enviro side, I have seen statements that assert that the Bush Administration "wants to" do this, that, or the other thing. In many cases, just as Russ is trying to get through to people right now, court decisions require that the admin comply with court orders. To say that complying with a court order is part of the admin's "evil plan" is at best a half truth. The failure of journalists to mention that this is the case is unethical-- by all tenets of the profession.

Another falsehood is the statement that the Bush admin's plan is to replace wild salmon and steelhead with hatchery fish.

If you look at what NOAA-Fisheries said is its list of priorities you will find as the next to the last option the statement that if wild fish can't be recovered any other way, NOAA-F will look to hatcheries to help re-establish wild runs. There is nothing in the recovery plan that I've seen that says the goal of NOAA-F is to replace wild fish with hatchery stock or a belief that they are the same. Yet that concept is bandied about by the envi-nuts (or is that term too much like penis envy?) as gospel. (And to provide balance and speed typing, I'm thinking of using BA for the Bush administration.)

I have several more that are more precise, but I think those two will do for the moment. When I see those types of comment come up, I believe that the writer/speaker is either ill-informed, un-read, a dupe of the envi-nuts, benighted or so passionate in his or her beliefs that anything bad about the BA is believable. Of course, I imagine people see the reverse is true as well...

Since you mentioned Hood Canal, and it is a place I fish frequently (and yes, I'm open to a fishing trip there any time I can break free and you're available...) I checked on the critical habitat map for summer chum. It was the only map and ESU I looked at. You can find the map by accessing the link I left about the recovery plan at the beginning of this thread and scrolling down a little bit.

If you link to the summer chum habitat map and scroll down to page 5 (I think it is) you'll see changes in the marine (shoreline) habitat designation. The habitat that is being excluded by the BA is the steep bluff along Fisherman's Point, the creekless west side of the Coyle Peninsula, the Bangor sub base, and the south shore of the bottom end. All of the major estuaries are in and many (if not all) of the minor estuaries. I'm not as familiar with the upland areas in the southern end of the Canal as I used to be, so I'm not sure about land the exclusions there.

This isn't the devastation I've been told is happening. The bulk of the critical habitat designation is still in place (I'd guesstimate 85 percent) and in place where it matters most. I look at this map, compare it with what I know from seeing it with my own eyes, read the "rape and ruin" reports here and elsewhere and see that things don't add up.

That's basically where I'm coming from. I strongly feel that truth and facts are important in resource management-- whatever that truth is, whether it's pro-Bush, anti-Bush or whatever. Innuendo and bias shouldn't play a part in managing (and we must manage; we can't just let things slide in the warm, fuzzy glow of preservation) this precious resource.

And now maybe I can get some flies tied.

My $.02,

Keith

BeeGee
12-05-2004, 01:54 PM
RAND, THE INTERNATIONALLY-RESPECTED, NON-PROFIT RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS FIRM, issued a report in September 2002 concluding that removing the four lower Snake River dams and investing in clean energy will create jobs and improve the environment.
http://www.wildsalmon.org/about/RANDreview.cfm

flytyer
12-05-2004, 04:59 PM
BeeGee,

Unfortunately, this doesn't matter because of the Spokane federal District Court's ruling in the power producer case that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed (agreed with) the end of September. These two court decisions mean that no amount of study or scientific review is going to change how the dams are operated and insured that the dams will not be removed to restore fish runs unless another suit is brought for different reasons and the court doesn't rule the same way-a very unlikely thing.

jjohnson
12-06-2004, 12:24 PM
Ok I will say that this has been a good discussion and have enjoyed it.

Since there have been examples of the don't blame Bush it is the courts. I have two where the administration choose not to do anything or everything they could have but no one on the Bush is great for the enviroment side seems to want to give an opinion. Any takers?

1) For the Hatchery fish or Hogan decision. All NOAA-F had to do was change what they included in the Definition of an ESU to not include hatchery fish. Instead they choose not to use the moderately divergant definition. This was the crux of the Hogan decision was the hatchery fish were counted in the make up of the ESU but not in the decision to list under ESA. Why would they do hard thing rather then the easy? I asked and all they said was it was for "biological" reason nothing more specific.

2) Why are non of these decision bing appealed? You show your commitment to something by what you choose your battles on and they aren't willing to go to battle for anything in the environment as far as I can see.

Oh we could get into other but I think these two show how to commited they are to strengthening the enviroment. And remember I consider myself a conservative and used to consider myself a republican.

JJ

sinktip
12-06-2004, 02:49 PM
I am still waiting to hear someone answer my question, is the current administration pro-fish?

Moonlight
12-06-2004, 03:54 PM
Qualified to answer!
No, the current administration does not have a positive program for the nations fisheries resources.
That was a pretty easy question to answer. I hope you don't need a lot of specifics to defend my answer because I am not going to give you very many.
The one that blew me away was when Thompson and Rich signed on with the promoters of large scale "off shore" (and Inshore) Aqua Culture Farms as being needed for increased National Security and Trade Deficit reduction. Personally I find the first one of these absurd and the other questionable as it is almost entierly made up of Farmed Shrimp which should be and could be reduced with Tariffs as this administration has done on Timber and Steel from time to time.
I would imagine Sinktip could answer this question himself but was just trying to draw out a few folks who might want to broaden these disscussion.

flytyer
12-06-2004, 04:30 PM
JJ,

Hogan's decision was appealed, albeit not by NOAA-F. NOAA-F did file a friend of the court brief in the appeal though. And Hogan's decision was upheld by the 9th circuit court. Appealing it to the supreme court would have been a waste of time and money because it would have been extremely unlikely the supreme court would have agreed to hear the case since there were no contitutional matters in the case.

The Spokane federal judges decision in the power producer case was appealed and the 9th circuit court upheld the Spokane judge's decision. Again appealing it to the supreme court would have been a waste of time and money because there were no constitutional matters in it either.

The Sacramento River steelhead case where the CA irrigators and farmers wanted to have rainbow trout in the Sacramento Basin included in the count of wild steelhead was won by NOAA-F.

The Methow Valley irrigators case where the irrigators wanted to have the courts rule that irrigation water was more important than leaving the water in the river for threatened and endangered fish was won by NOAA-F, the BLA and the Forest Service.

Cleary the administration has fought for the environment at times, as the Methow Valley case and Sacramento River case cited above show.

In other words, there are times NOAA-F wins a case and times it loses a case. And there are times that a prior appeals court ruling results in a federal district court judge ruling againse NOAA-F, even if the appeals court ruling was in a circuit other than the 9th circuit. RE: the 10th circuit's decision on what NOAA-F may not include in an economic analysis.

Am I totally and completely happy with what this administration has done regarding fish and wildlife? Of course not! Anymore than I was completely happy with everthing the prior administration did that effected fish and wildlife.

Moonlight,

Fish and wildlife regulators here in WA have allowed fish farming in our waters. Why have fisherman in WA not gotten on the case of the governor for allowing it? And why is our governor not also not a friend of fish? Shouldn't this be the cast since I'm just applying the same logic as used regarding shrimp farming?

Sinktip,

Have our WA state governor and its administrations over the past 20 years been pro fish? And was the past presidential administration pro fish?

You already know there is no definitive answer to any of these questions since they have all made decisions on both sides of the question.

sinktip
12-06-2004, 05:05 PM
Russ,

You are answering a question with a series of other questions. tsk tsk

Ok, let me re-phrase it then.

Is the Bush administration more pro fish then the Clinton administration?

sinktip

Doublespey
12-06-2004, 06:17 PM
In reply to Russ, the answer is NO, I'm not satisfied with grid-Locke's administrative record on natural resource management. This isn't a Democrat vs Republican issue as far as I can tell.

Tom Brokaw, for example, is a republican and an ardent sportsman who loves the outdoors. And I trust if he were elected president (you never know - he's got a lot of time on his hands now and he'll probably get sick of all that clean Montana air in 4 years :wink: ) i'm sure his administration would be far more fish-friendly than the current one. Hell, I'd even bet on McCain. Remember, under then-Governor Bush Texas ~became~ the most polluted state in the Union. Nice job George - now you can get started on the other 49. :confused: :Eyecrazy:

I don't count myself as either Democrat or Republican - I'd say fiscally and socially a moderate conservative and environmentally liberal. And I judge each individual, and each administration, on their knowledge of and actions toward the resources and issues I'm concerned with.

Is this administration more fish friendly than Clintons? Is this administration more fish friendly than ANY - Republican or Democrat - in modern times? Help me out here - I can't think of even one.

The progressive rollback of ALL environmental protections would seem to suggest a pattern. From refusal to participate in the international Global Warming conference to his immortal statement about how trees "cause" forest fires as justification for more extensive logging, etc. Hey, at least he's consistent. :eek:

IMHO .02,

Brian

kjackson
12-06-2004, 06:49 PM
Given that I see a lot of fish-related material and environmental stories from all over the country as part of my work, I have more of a national feel for what's going on than those who rely on the Seattle Times for their info. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to ruffle feathers by that statement; I review a LOT of fish/enviro stories on a monthly, weekly and daily basis, most of which is outside the NW sphere of interest.

While many posters on these regional boards would have you believe the Bush Administration is about as anti-fish and anti-environment as you could possibly be, that doesn't appear to be the case.

Why? Well, this year alone has seen two dams (that I can recall without research, and I think there were a couple more) removed with federal funding/assistance; one as on the Rappahannock. But they were in the NE and that doesn't carry much weight with our press. There is also a strong effort in the NE for restoration of Atlantic salmon in the rivers there-- again, federal funds are playing a big part of that. In our neck of the woods, there were federal funds committed to estuary restoration on the Columbia, shoreline restoration/enhancement funds set aside for other areas in the NW (offhand I can't recall exactly if it was for Grays Harbor, Willapa or another estuary). The Elwha dams removal is very close to starting, and monies for that little exercise are federal. There were two habitat restoration projects in southern Oregon that I know of that received some of their funding from the Feds. This week, the administration proposed and got approval for a shark-finning bill that was international in scope. There are similar projects all across the country being completed by folks who work in the Bush administration.
And while it may have been politicking, Bush came to the NW and not only praised the salmon-restoration efforts of Gary Loomis' group Fish First, but pledged federal assistance to recover salmon runs. I didn't see Clinton, Gore or Kerry do that.

Does that make Bush pro-fish? He's probably about as much as any president would be.

My $.02,

Keith

jjohnson
12-06-2004, 07:01 PM
So to answer my questions:

1) NOAA-F didn't appeal (others may have) and choose to include hatchery fish if they aren't moderately divergant (whatever that means) rather then take an easier route to redefining what makes up and ESU.

2) Yes you are right they have done some good things and appeal some decisions but where they choose to lay their eggs is obvious and what they really choose to fight for.

I would hardly call Locke, Clinton or Bush pro-salmon\steelhead recovery. I am equal opportunity critic just so happens that Bush's admin is open to critism right now. Does that mean they all didn't do anything to help recovery but could and should they have done more obsolutely.

JJ

sinktip
12-06-2004, 07:32 PM
Just so all you uninformed masses can be privvy to information other than from the Seattle Times, I give to you Fishlink where you can get, direct to your e-mail more than you will ever have time to read regarding fisheries restoration and preservation issues. All kidding aside, a worthy resource and it does give you the national and international flavor. I have been subscribing for 3+ years and the SubLegals are always a good read.

__________________________________________________ ______________

"Fishlink" is a free Internet fisheries information and news service linking fisheries scientists, organizations and fishing associations (both commercial and recreational), as well as folks working on fisheries protection issues generally. Our focus is primarily on fisheries habitat conservation and restoration in North America (including Canada), the North Pacific and the North Atlantic, though we do cover fisheries news from other regions.

This network is sponsored and maintained by the Institute for Fisheries Resources (IFR), with assistance from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA). PCFFA is the largest organization of commercial fishermen on the US west coast and is a federation of 25 different fishermen's associations participating in every commercial fishery from San Diego to Alaska. The Institute for Fisheries Resources, founded by PCFFA in 1982, works primarily on the protection and restoration of west coast salmon and other marine resources, including the protection and restoration of their habitat. For more information about these two organizations and their many conservation programs, as well as for useful links to other fishery protection organizations and resources, refer to our Web pages:
======================================
PCFFA: <http://www.pond.net/~pcffa>
Institute: <http://www.pond.net/~fish1ifr>

flytyer
12-06-2004, 10:28 PM
Brian,

Clinton said he wouldn't sign the global warming treaty because he found it unfairly expected the US to fund abatement programs in less developed countries.

JJ,

I don't know why the bios chose the include the hatchery fish in their origianal ESU for the river system from which came the Hogan decision as result of including the hatchery fish in the first place. Nor do I (or any of the rest of us for that matter) know why the bios chose to stay with the decision to include the hatchery fish in the ESU after Hogan's decision instead of doing a new study and not including the hatchery fish in that particular river, but that is what they did.

Brian,

Like you, I am an independent conservative who also cares about fish and wildlife conservation, and I have never cared what party any candidate is a member of.

Sinktip,

It sounds like you have already answered your own somewhat rhetorical question. But do tell me how taking the portions of Hood Canal that Keith abstracted directly from NOAA-F out of critcal habitat designation harms the fish? Also, tell me how the administration's case in the Methow Valley harms fish?

kjackson
12-06-2004, 10:54 PM
Sinktip-- Interesting website, although I had to do a google search to find it. The two pond.net links you posted told me the domain is for sale.

I can see where you get your views that Bush is not pro fish. The little bit I skimmed on the PCFFA site were pretty much anti-Bush, anti-government-- but that is what I've mostly seen from commercial fishermen. Maybe there was something I missed as I didn't spend much time at it. But what I did not see was news of ANY habitat restoration projects.

However, the issue of American Angler that arrived today had a news brief on the removal of a dam on the Neversink, funded in part by the Army Corps of Engineers. It also had a rebuke of the bull trout habitat study...

Keith

fishinfool
12-07-2004, 09:06 AM
Fellas,
It seems to me that no matter who or what is behind the decisions or how little chance we have to bring about a change, we have to keep voicing our discontent with the current status of things, questioning every shaky decision or court case, and working to get the runs restored, protected and back to a healthy state. If we just accept things as they come along and let it keep getting worse we have no one to blame but ourselves. The worst thing we can do is to bicker among ourselves and not against those who would be happy to see wild anadromous fish gone for ever and a dam on every drop of running water in our country.
.02
John

sinktip
12-07-2004, 11:20 AM
Keith,

Sorry the links were old. I pulled them off of the e-mail they sent me when I subscribed 3 years ago. I get weekly sub-legal updates though and isn't it interesting that you found the content to be anti-Bush. In reading it for the last three years, I thought they were simply pro-fish. Perhaps there is a correlation there :lildevl:

Russ,

My good friend, I think I want to be the first to support you for political office. You still have not answered my question though.

kjackson
12-07-2004, 11:35 AM
Sinktip-- I just figured the PCFFA had sold out.... I tried to access the sub-legals section, and it's under construction or knows my views. It is an interesting site, though biased.

FF-- despite the sometimes spirited debate here, I think that no one on this site would like to see wild fish diminished or encroached upon. The arguments help me sharpen my thinking processes, evaluate my beliefs, keep me informed on current matters that are important to me, and make me appreciate unbiased journalism.

Keith

flytyer
12-07-2004, 02:48 PM
Sinktip,

My friend. The answer is: On some things it appears they are not pro-fish and other things they appear to be pro-fish.

Now its you turn to answer my question, which you have so arfully avoided: Was the past administration pro-fish?

sinktip
12-07-2004, 03:19 PM
Simple answer: Yes

Qualified answer: I am not sure there has ever been a pro-environment administration but there certainly are degrees of anti-enviroment. Comparing the two, I would give Clinton (who I agreed very little with) a resounding win over W.

flytyer
12-07-2004, 08:52 PM
Sinktip,

I have to agree with you that no adminstration in my lifetime has been pro- or anti-fish or envirnoment, just degrees of pro-environment or fish along with degrees of anti-environment or fish.