Trying to Keep the MSM in Check
In reponse to an opinion piece, signed off on by the Editorial Board at The Seattle Times, hailing Judge Coughenour's decision (see Salmon Update below) as a huge victory for salmon, I wrote a letter to the editor(s) published in today's Seattle Times (reprinted here in its entirety):
Counting salmon Hatchery distinction errs The Times Editorial Board claims that "fiddling with the numbers does nothing to nurture and protect wild salmon" ["The administration's odd salmon count," Times, editorial, June 20]. That statement makes more than one tragically incorrect assumption.Who's endangered now?
First of all, many so-called "wild" or "naturally spawning" populations were all but gone and brought back through the use of hatcheries. Second, once hatchery fish are released into the wild, the offspring between a wild and hatchery fish is considered wild. Third, given that hatcheries have been operating for over 100 years, it is unlikely that there are complete runs of "wild" salmon without a hatchery-born ancestor.
District Judge John Coughenour's ruling is in direct conflict with the opinion Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans, issued by Judge Hogan in the District of Oregon in 2001, which stated that both natural and hatchery members of the same population cannot be distinguished for listing purposes. Any further breakdown within a population is not a "species" that qualifies for Endangered Species Act protection.
Pacific Legal Foundation will appeal the latest decision and welcomes review by the 9th Circuit.
This challenge is imperative to uphold the plain language of the Endangered Species Act and to protect citizens from the overreaching and overzealous governmental regulation of private property.