Let's approach Flytier's 2 questions, but first a response.
Any issue dealing with the survival of endangered species, should be debated openly for as long as it takes to achieve a suitable end that will ensure the species in question has safeguards in place that will allow it to be an thriving part of it's Natural suroundings.
Obviously this is NOT the case now!
How can rivers and streams, or portions of them, that never had Anadromous fish be considered "Critical" for the survival of Anadromous species?
So you have river A, and river A has had a small run of steelhead, but only up to stream 1, because above stream 1 is a dam thats been in place for 100 years, or a 50foot waterfall, etc.
Above this obstruction is the mainstem of river A which breaks into S and N forks as well as numerous feeder streams.
Along comes the Gov, and the Gov says "Aint never seen no steelhead up in theese parts, so theese parts aint "Critical" Designation droped.
Along comes contractor Smith, buys up the land above the obstruction, cuts down all the trees and builds condos, which polutes the mainstem and wipes out alot of the feeder streams.
Meanwhile downstream the steelhead run starts feeling a little quezy and they start diein off cause the portion of the stream that they "Never used" got screwed up, and in there world everything runs downhill.
And when this happens, will you see the steelhead walkin in front of City Hall in Seattle or Portland or Sacramento with little signs sayin "Unfair to Fish"?
We have to stand up for them
We have to make sure that no one has a chance to screw it up!
Since they never had Anadromous fish, how is removing critical habitat going to hurt them?
Same as story one, except instead of diein in the river, they die in the ocean!
It is not "Part" We have to get away from this "Part" stuff. These seperate and unique systems are intergrated with other unique systems to form a "Whole"!
If certain individuals are allowed to put these things in play, it will take ten times as long to remove them when the effects are realized.
Why when something is Good and does Good would anyone want to stop it and take a chance on making it Bad.
Beats the Hell out of me.
Puget Sound has less than 5% of its historical Salmon and Steelhead runs. The Columbia system is just as bad. Im sure it's the same for our Brothers in Fish to the south. Ive only been on this planet for 50 years, I don't know where the Salmon were 100, 200 500 years ago! Mabye they were in these streams and rivers that don't have them now.
But Ill say this, Ill bet it wasn't other fish that booted them out...
My question is, why should we remove even an inch more of Critical Habitat regardless of whether the Steelhead or Salmon visit there or not?
I am sure there is some species that would bennifit, mabye Us?