The "Endangered Species Recovery Act of 1997" (S. 1180), could go to a vote on the Senate floor in the next month. Introduced by Senators Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho), John Chafee (R-R.I.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.), this bill would make changes to the current law (See Habitat Hotline Number 34).
Bill language would:
Now What: *** As We Go To Press *** it appears that S. 1180 will be sent to the Senate floor in the near future. However, reports are that proposed amendments to the bill by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) are causing the bill to lose some momentum. At issue is amendment language which includes: making recovery implementation agreements voluntary for the federal government, provisions granting greater power to states, and language concerning standards for candidate species [Source: Colleen Schu, March 2, 1998 Environmental and Energy Weekly, (202) 628-6500]. Democrats will presumably seek strengthening amendments in exchange for the Lott amendments. Also, a critical issue that needs to be worked out is assured funding for the new bill’s mandates. The ultimate outcome of these amendments could determine if the Endangered Species Act is reauthorized.
In The House: The conservation community is backing H.R. 2351, the "Endangered Species Recovery Act of 1997" (See Habitat Hotline Number 33) introduced by Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). Similar to the Kempthorne bill, H.R. 2351 contains measures providing incentives for landowner conservation activities and encourages multispecies conservation plans. However, S. 1180 and H.R. 2351 are far apart on many issues. H.R. 2351 does not place time limits on the agency consultation process, does not tie recovery planning to economic impacts, and would require additional conservation measures under a conservation plan if the federal government felt they were necessary for the continued existence of a species. This bill has 96 co-sponsors. As yet, no action has been taken on this bill.
Reports are that Representatives Don Young (R-Alaska) and Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) are working on draft ESA reauthorization language. However, all indications are that the House is waiting on Senate action before proceeding.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write Your Congressperson: U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515; and U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or call the House of Representatives switchboard at (202) 225-3121; and the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
To register your opinion with the President on any issue call the White House Comment Line at (202) 456-1111.
E-Mail Messages to President Clinton at email@example.com or to Vice President Gore at firstname.lastname@example.org
The "Private Property Implementation Act of 1997", H.R. 1534, introduced by Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), was passed by the House of Representatives on October 22, 1997 by a vote of 248-178. This bill would allow property owners to take their cases directly to federal courts, circumventing the more lengthy state court and local government processes. Currently, cases cannot go to federal court unless state and local resolution processes have been exhausted.
REACTION: Proponents of the bill, such as the Defenders of Property Rights, say the legislation is needed because it would remove some of the obstacles which prevent property owners from vindicating their constitutional rights in court. Environmental groups oppose the bill because it would, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, open the doors of federal courts to numerous new "takings" claims, where developers or private landowners could seek compensation for not polluting, logging or building on protected land. The Clinton Administration has said it will veto the legislation. State and local government groups also oppose the bill.
NOW WHAT: H.R. 1534 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26 by a 10-8 vote. According to the March 2, 1998 edition of Environmental and Energy Weekly, the fate of this bill is left to negotiations which could address the many concerns raised by several senators, as well as avoid the threat of a filibuster.
On February 12, 1998, Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 3232, the "Farm Sustainability and Animal Feedlot Enforcement Act." The bill would:
In the Senate: Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced similar legislation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please refer to the top of page 2 for information (phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) on actions you can take.
For Further Information Contact the Office of Representative George Miller at (202) 225-2095.
In Related news: On March 5, 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency released for public comment a draft strategy to minimize the public health and environmental impacts from animal feeding operations. According to the EPA, "the draft strategy is the Agency’s first action under the Clinton Administration’s new Clean Water Action Plan to finish the job of cleaning up the nation’s rivers, lakes and streams." A copy of the draft strategy is available on the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/owm/afo.htm. Copies of the draft strategy are available from EPA’s Water Resource Center at (202) 260-7786. Written comments will accepted until May 1, l998, and may be submitted to Ruby Cooper-Ford, U.S. EPA, Mail Code 4203, Washington, D. C. 20460, or by e-mail at Ford.Ruby@epamail.epa.gov
In January, the U.S. Forest Service announced a proposal to temporarily suspend road construction in roadless areas in federal forests. Research indicates that most of the sediments entering the stream from silvicultural practices can be traced to erosion from poorly designed roads and culverts. Increased landslide frequencies have also been linked to clearcuts and roaded areas.
The proposed rule would also revise the regulations concerning the management of the National Forest road system to address changes in how the road system is developed, used, maintained, and funded. The moratorium does not apply to the Tongass National Forest or to the west side of the Cascade Range in Northern California, Washington and Oregon (i.e. spotted owl forests).
According to the U.S. Forest Service:
For Further Information Contact: Gerald (Skip) Coghlan, U.S. Forest Service Engineering Staff, (202) 205-1400; Rhey Solomon, Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff, (202) 205-0939.
For A Copy of the Proposal go to your local library and see the Federal Register for January 28, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 18), or call the above number. On the Internet go to the U.S. Forest Service homepage at http://www.fs.fed.us/
The comment period for the interim final rule to implement the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act has been extended to March 19, 1998.
Background: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Act) was originally passed in 1976. The Act provided the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) legislative authority for fisheries regulation in the United States, in the area between three miles to 200 miles offshore, and established the eight regional fishery management councils (Councils) that manage the harvest of fish and shellfish resources in these waters.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) covers the area offshore of the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, while the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) manages Alaska’s fishery resources. Councils prepare Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) to govern their management activities, which are submitted to NMFS for approval.
In 1996, the Act was reauthorized and changed extensively by amendments called the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA). Among other changes, these amendments were intended to emphasize the importance of habitat protection to healthy fisheries and to strengthen the ability of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Councils to protect the habitat needed by the fish they manage. This habitat is called "Essential Fish Habitat" and is broadly defined to include "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity."
What You Can Do: Comments on the interim final rule should be sent to:
Further Information on the EFH Interim Final Regulations can be found in Habitat Hotline Numbers 32, 34, and 35 (summary), or accessed via the Internet through the NMFS web site at http://kingfish.ssp.nmfs.gov (under "Office of Habitat Protection"), or by calling NMFS’ Office of Habitat Protection at (301) 713-2325.
Pacific Fishery Management Council: The National Marine Fisheries Service is in the process of developing EFH recommendations for West Coast Salmon, Coastal Pelagics, and Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plans. The proposed recommendations for all three FMPs will be out in the next month.
Public hearings for the NMFS draft EFH recommendations are scheduled as follows:
For Further Information on the NMFS’s EFH Recommendations Contact: Coastal Pelagics: Mark Helvey of the National Marine Fisheries Service at (707) 575-6078; Salmon: Joe Scordino (206) 526-6150; Groundfish: Cyreis Schmitt (206) 860-3322.
Further Information on the Pacific Fishery Management Council can be accessed on their web site at http://www.pcouncil.org or by phone at (503) 326-6352.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council: Preliminary EFH reports for the NPFMC’s five FMPs (Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish, Gulf of Alaska Groundfish, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crab, Alaska Scallops, and Salmon) have been completed. According to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, these reports will form the basis of preliminary NMFS EFH recommendations in April, [week of April 20 in Anchorage] when the Council is scheduled to initially review the analysis. Final approval of the EFH amendments is scheduled for June 1998 [week of June 8 in Dutch Harbor].
For Further Information Contact: Dave Witherell the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at (907) 271-2809; Cindy Hartmann of the National Marine Fisheries Service at (907) 586-7235. On the Internet, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council web site can be found at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/npfmc.htm
On February 26, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed to protect, under the Federal Endangered Species Act, thirteen salmon and steelhead populations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California. (See page 7 for a map of chinook species proposed for listing.) Citing all too familiar reasons, NMFS said that factors affecting the health of these fish:
[Source: National Marine Fisheries Service]
To help us save on paper and postage, the Habitat Hotline is available on our web site. If you are interested in receiving an e-mail notification of when the Hotline is available, please contact Liza Bauman at liza_bauman@ psmfc.org.
Habitat Hotlines are posted onto our web page within 24 hours of being published. In addition to being available in HTML format, the newsletter is also posted in Adobe PDF format, which allows users to download it in its original printed form.
Past issues of the Habitat Hotline (from Issue #17 March 1995 to present) are available on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission’s web site, at http://www.psmfc.org under "Publications".
A graph of the six strongest most recent El Niños can be found below. On February 11, 1998 the Climate Prediction Center and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction reported the following regarding the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event:
Based on current conditions in the tropical Pacific and on the NCEP [National Centers for Environmental Prediction] SST predictions, we expect warm episode (ENSO) conditions to continue through the northern spring. As a result, the above circulation features are likely to continue over North America through March, and possibly into April. Impacts of these conditions are likely to be recurring periods of significant storm activity and precipitation across California and the southern tier of the United States, and continued milder-than-normal conditions over much of central North America.
Above is a plot of the six biggest historic El Niño events since 1950. The first three events (1957/58, 65/66, and 72/73) all featured an early warming in the far eastern Pacific and reached their standardized peaks before the end of the first year. The more recent El Niño events (1982/83, 86/87, and 91/92) took longer to mature, typically reaching their peaks in the spring of the second year. Early 1983 was the peak of the biggest El Niño of the century so far, whereas 1997 may have already crested [last] July/August, just below the 1983 peak. (Text and figures adapted from Klaus Wolter [email@example.com] (303) 492-4615 Source: Wolter and Timlin [1993, 1997]).
Note: ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation or El Niño) is a change in the ocean-atmosphere system in the eastern Pacific, which contributes to significant weather changes around the world.
The public comment period for the Eastside and Upper Columbia River Basin Draft Environmental Impact Statements (DEISs) has been extended until April 6, 1998.
The Interior Columbia River Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP or Project) is part of a 1993 Presidential directive to develop a scientifically sound, ecosystem-based strategy for management of federal lands east of the Cascades. This process is important because it will guide land management decisions that affect fish habitat for years to come. The Project area of the two Draft Environmental Impact Statements includes portions of the Columbia River, Upper Klamath and northern Great Basins that lie east of the Cascade Mountain range. The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service administer 72 million of the 144 million acres of the project area (See Habitat Hotline Number 33). "Key" anadromous fish affected by this federal land management plan include steelhead and chinook salmon.
NOW WHAT: According to the Project, the comment period extension was necessary to respond to additional Project requirements included in the 1998 Interior Appropriations Bill. That bill required the Project to issue reports analyzing the existing economic and social conditions, culture, and customs of communities within the Project area before publishing a Final EIS. This socio-economic report will be released in the coming weeks, and will also include an analysis of the impacts on those communities of the alternatives in the Draft EISs. As of January 16, the project reported that nearly 70,000 comments have been submitted.
The final Project document is now scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 1999. The budget for the preferred alternative is estimated at $268 million annually (which is $137 million per year above current levels). Implementation of the Project will be challenging, with environmental groups, timber industry, cattle industry, and rural counties all criticizing the document or calling for it to be abandoned. However, a worse scenario could be failure to implement the Project. It’s safe to assume that if the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project flounders, litigation by environmental groups will be inevitable.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: A public meeting has been scheduled to update and inform interested participants on the progress and status of the Project. The meeting will be held on March 18, 1998 at the ICBEMP Project Office, 112 East Poplar, Walla Walla, WA, phone: (509) 522-4030.
TO COMMENT: Comments for the Eastside DEIS should be sent to:
Comments for the Upper Columbia River Basin DEIS should be sent to:
For a Copy of the Socio-Economic Report, or other Project documents, call either of the numbers listed below. The socio-economic report will also be available via the Internet at http://www.icbemp.gov
For Further Information on the Eastside DEIS call Rex Holloway of the ICBEMP at (509) 522-4046; and for the Upper Columbia River Basin DEIS contact Andy Brunelle of the ICBEMP at (208) 334-1770, Ext. 120.
Background: In April 1997, the federal government postponed listing Oregon Coast coho salmon under the Endangered Species Act. Instead, it struck an agreement with the State of Oregon to implement its Coastal Salmon Restoration Initiative (OCSRI or the Oregon Plan). A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Oregon and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) established the terms and conditions for the collaborative process during implementation of the OCSRI. Last year, the Oregon Board of Forestry set up the ad hoc Forest Practices MOA Advisory Committee (MOA Committee) to evaluate forest practice concerns outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement and to make specific recommendations to the Board of Forestry by the Fall of 1998.
The MOA Committee is comprised of the timber industry (Oregon Forest Industry Council), fishing groups (Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations), Environmental groups (Oregon Trout, Portland Audubon Society), and others.
NMFS Forestry Report: On February 17, 1998, the National Marine Fisheries Service submitted its forest practices proposal to the MOA Committee. Included in that report are proposed changes to Oregon’s riparian management regulations for state and private lands. A comparison of the Oregon Forest Practice Rules, plus the OCSRI enhancements versus NMFS’ recommendations can be found on pages 11-12. These changes would increase the current buffer on Oregon’s fish bearing streams from 50-100 feet to 150-200 feet, depending on stream size, and reduce the timber harvest opportunities within those buffers.
Below are some excerpts from the NMFS report of February 17:
The discussion group members found it uncertain to unlikely that the existing rules would achieve coho habitat objectives, particularly for small streams and in areas of high landslide risk. Acknowledging this, they identified important gaps in the current rules and practices and provided insight on improvements that could be made in several areas.
The scientists warned that salmon conservation on the Oregon Coast depends on more than improved forest practices. They especially urged that the low-gradient portions of coastal watersheds—the lowlands that had historically provided the majority of coho habitat—should be protected and restored. At the same time, they noted that improvements [to] the steeper, upper portions of the watersheds were important. Due to extensive lowland degradation, existing coho populations are concentrated largely in upstream strongholds.
The scientists recommended improvements in a number of areas. These are reflected in the proposal and they include:
The proposal does not seek to restore pre-development conditions in Oregon forests and streams; as the science discussion groups noted, this is not possible. The proposal highlights the importance of protecting habitat that is still intact, attempts to reestablish functioning processes over the short term, and seeks to achieve a high probability of proper function supported primarily by natural processes over the long term.
The proposal presents a series of detailed measures to achieve properly functioning habitat condition. While these are written in the terms frequently encountered in forest practice rules, NMFS is leaving open at this time the question of whether all the changed practices should be codified in law or regulation or whether many could be pursued through agreements or other incentive-based mechanisms. That approach is consistent with the MOA, which provides that changes could occur in statutes, regulations, or other programs.
While the measures may appear unduly prescriptive to some, they are intended to be default interim measures, practices that can be refined as sound watershed analyses are completed. It is anticipated that these more refined analyses will permit significant additional flexibility in forest practices—an important and valuable incentive for improvements in watershed analysis and cumulative effects assessment that will help spur these important next steps.
Table 2. Comparison of riparian and watershed protection
afforded by the current Oregon Forest Practice Rules (Rules), plus the
voluntary measures of the OCSRI, and the changes proposed by the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). [Source: National Marine Fisheries Service]
|Riparian Management Areas (RMA) along all streams. Intended to provide riparian function by mid-rotation (25 years) and allow repeated timber harvest every 50 years, while maintaining a minimum basal area.||Riparian Management Zones (RMZ) along all streams. Intended to allow limited timber management aimed at growing properly functioning riparian forests. After the riparian stand attains the desired conditions, then no further timber harvest is allowed.|
|RMAs are measured from annual high water level of the main channel or connected side-channels.||RMZs are measured from outer edges of a channel migration zone (CMZ), where present, in order to provide floodplain function.|
|RMAs along all streams are measured
along the slope. No correction for steep sideslopes.
|RMZs are measured horizontally to correct for steep slopes, and in order to account for greater function of steep sideslopes.|
|Fish-bearing streams: RMAs are 50 to 100 feet wide, depending on stream size. Widths are based on economic and operational considerations.||RMZs are functionally based and are as wide as the height of a 100-year site-potential tree (approx 150 to 200 feet on OR coast).|
|Inner RMA is 20 feet, based on shade provisions.||Inner RMZ is 30 feet, based on function of root strength for streambank stability. Other riparian functions such as shade, litter-fall, and LWD recruitment would be partly met within the inner RMZ.|
|Hardwood conversion allows harvest of existing conifers and durable hardwoods (e.g., myrtle and maple) within an RMA. Where red alder is harvested, these other trees should not be removed.||Hardwood conversion would not include harvest of existing conifers within RMZ, to maintain existing conifer function. Hardwood conversion sites would be selected within context of watershed.|
|Objectives of 80 to 200-year riparian forest would be partly met by providing RMA widths with 72% to 92% of the potential riparian source conifer trees for LWD recruitment. Small fish-bearing streams have the least number of trees for shade or LWD sources.||Objectives of 80 to 200-year riparian forest would be met by providing RMZ widths with nearly 100% of the potential riparian source trees for LWD recruitment for all fish-bearing streams. Shade goals would be met along all small fish-bearing streams.|
|The mid-rotation (25 years) target for conifer basal area would be 27% to 73% of potential LWD recruitment for OR Coast. No assurance that retained trees would be allowed to grow and become LWD.||Wider RMZs and conservative management provide high levels of potential LWD recruitment for OR Coast. Outer RMZ managed to grow large trees while maintaining adequate tree stocking. High assurance that retained trees would be allowed to grow and eventually become LWD.|
|Perennially-flowing non-fish-bearing streams: RMA widths are 0 to 70 feet, depending on stream size.||RMZs would be the width of two-thirds
the height of a 100-year site-potential tree (approx 100 to 135 feet in
|Inner RMA of retained trees is 0 to 20 feet, depending on stream size.||Inner RMZ is 30 feet, based on function of root strength for streambank stability. Other riparian functions of shade, litter-fall, and LWD recruitment would be partly met within the inner RMZ.|
|Rules’ objective of functioning riparian forest would be partly met by providing RMA widths with 0% to 83% of the potential riparian source trees for LWD recruitment. Small non-fish-bearing streams have negligible potential trees for shade and LWD sources.||Objectives of functioning riparian forest would be met by providing RMZ widths that would provide about 80% of the potential riparian source trees for LWD recruitment for perennial non-fish-bearing streams. Riparian function would be met for small streams, which are by far the most numerous.|
|The mid-rotation (25 years) target for basal area would be 0% to 30% of potential LWD recruitment for OR Coast. No assurance that retained trees would be allowed to grow and become LWD.||Wider RMZs and conservative management provide moderate to high levels of potential LWD recruitment for OR Coast. Outer RMZ managed to grow large trees while maintaining adequate tree stocking. High assurance that retained trees would be allowed to grow and become LWD.|
|Seasonally flowing non-fish-bearing streams: "operators are encouraged whenever possible to retain understory vegetation, non-merchantable trees, and leave trees within clearcuts along all other small type N streams within harvest units."||RMZs would be the width of half the height of a 100-year site-potential tree (approx 50 to 100 feet in OR coast). This may be adjusted on a site-basis with site information.|
|No inner RMA of retained trees.||Inner RMZ is 0 to 30 feet, based on slope and functions of root strength and sediment filtering. Other riparian functions of shade, litter-fall, and LWD recruitment would be partly met.|
|No commitment to provide riparian trees for shade or LWD recruitment. Rules’ objective of functioning riparian forest would likely not be met.||Objectives of functioning riparian forest would be met by providing RMA widths that would provide approx 40% of the potential riparian source trees for LWD recruitment for seasonal non-fish-bearing streams. Outer RMZ managed to grow large trees while maintaining adequate tree stocking.|
|Landslides: There is no provision under the Rules to prohibit an activity on a high-hazard site. Protocols for identifying potentially unstable slopes are not spelled out. Current management may not meet the Rules’ objective of maximum practical protection to maintain water quality and fish habitat.||Use preliminary and site screening of all project areas to identify potentially unstable slopes, runout paths and depositional areas of potential debris flows. A process is suggested to prescribe site-specific measures for protecting potentially unstable slopes. Sites with a high risk of failing and delivering to a stream would have trees retained to maintain root strength and eventually supply LWD to streams when failures occur.|
|No commitment to protect potentially unstable slopes adjacent to streams. These areas are sources of both sediment and LWD to streams.||The inner RMZ would retain trees on potentially unstable slopes next to all streams.|
|Surface erosion from roads: Rules require adequate maintenance for active roads, but not necessarily for inactive roads. Monitoring by ODF reported in 1996 that 30 to 40% of surveyed forest roads were found to be delivering sediment to streams. Rules direct correction of identified problems but are not easily used to control operations before erosion occurs. Voluntary commitment by industrial forest landowners to inventory and repair surface erosion problems.||Preparing road management plans is strongly encouraged to comprehensively address roads across an ownership or watershed. Also, specific measures address many ways to minimize and avoid sediment delivery from existing and newly constructed roads. Forest managers would be directed to cease operations and take corrective action when the likelihood for sediment delivery exits. User handbooks from other areas are offered as guidance to road managers.|
|Hydrologic function is not addressed by BMPs for roads or clearcut harvest.||Hydrologic function is addressed by specific road management measures.|
|Fish passage is not assured for culverts in use before Sept 1994. Voluntary commitment by industrial forest landowners to inventory and upgrade passage problems.||Fish passage is met for all forest road crossings.|
|The limits of fish distribution are not field surveyed for all small streams. An unknown number of small fish-bearing streams are misidentified and do not receive protection under the Rules. Voluntary commitment by industrial forest landowners to survey forest streams for fish distribution.||All sites potentially affected by ongoing and proposed forest activities would be surveyed for fish presence, and appropriately protected.|
|Watershed Assessment draft methods are intended to enable watershed councils to select sites to restore or protect. No procedure for watershed analysis (WSA) has been developed. Some landowners would conduct their own WSA.||An expedited WSA is proposed to guide landowners to manage individual sites with an understanding of watershed-scale ecological processes.|
|Cumulative Watershed Effects are not assessed. Assumption that correctly implemented Rules will avoid adverse cumulative effects.||The expedited WSA will enable proposed projects to be assessed on a watershed scale. Project design and land management based on improved understanding will address and minimize cumulative watershed effects.|
REACTION: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, in a February 26, 1998 letter to Secretary of Commerce William Daley, wrote:
The 150 page proposal mentioned above would result in a reduction of timber harvest on private forest lands in Western Oregon of between 40 and 80 percent, with many landowners being put out of business entirely. The standards being proposed for private forest lands in Oregon are higher than for any habitat conservation plan anywhere on the West Coast and, I would guess, anywhere in the country.
Mr. Secretary, I would remind you that these proposed standards go far beyond what NMFS could ever achieve under an actual listing. Clearly, our objective must be the recovery of species and not merely "take avoidance." To recover the species we will ultimately need the cooperation of private landowners. If NMFS alienates the forest industry, either through a lack of collaboration or by attempting to force restrictions of forest activities that result in a massive taking of private land unachievable even under an ESA listing, I fear we will have no support for our recovery effort.
By taking aim at state forest practice rules which underpin the Salmon Plan, NMFS seeks to further federal control of private forest lands. State biologists and forest specialists concur that the root of the salmon’s problems lie far downstream from the forests—in the estuaries and oceans. Today’s announcement shows that NMFS intends to blindly blame forestry and logging operations as the scapegoat for their mismanagement, including decades of over-fishing salmon in the ocean.
The recommended measures should allow for proper functioning of fish-bearing streams and perennial non-fish bearing streams and the crucial habitat values associated with those waterways.
The proposed interim measures...are compatible with EPA’s policy positions concerning both CWA implementation and CZARA [Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments] Section 6217 issues and would satisfy many of EPA’s outstanding concerns (see Attachment A [below]—Findings for the Oregon Coastal Nonpoint Program).
Although Oregon has the basic legal and programmatic tools to implement a forestry program in conformity with Section 6217, these tools are inadequate to ensure that water quality standards are attained and maintained and beneficial uses protected. This conclusion is based on best available information, including the most recent 303(d) listings for Oregon waters, which indicate water quality impairments from forestry. Related to these water quality impairments, Oregon has a number of aquatic species, in particular anadromous salmonids, that are endangered, threatened, or otherwise seriously at risk, due in part to forestry activities that impair coastal water quality and beneficial uses, including salmon spawning, rearing, and migration habitat.
The federal government will review the state program by May of 2000. At that time, another decision will be made on whether to list the fish, or allow the State to continue with its recovery program.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: The next meeting of the MOA Committee will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 17 at the Parks and Recreation Building, 1115 Commercial Street, Salem.
For Further Information Contact: Ted Lorenson of the Department of Forestry at (503) 945-7478.
For a Copy of the NMFS Forestry Proposal, contact the National Marine Fisheries Service at (503) 230-5400.
In February, the Oregon Department of Transportation made salmon theme license plates available for Oregon motorists. The plates cost $30 a set (in addition to any regular registration fees). Funds from the sale of the plates will go to salmon restoration and state parks.
The plates were authorized by legislation passed by the 1997 Oregon State Legislature. State Representatives Terry Thompson (D-Newport) and Mike Lehman (D-Coos Bay) were the chief co-sponsors of the bill. Said Representative Thompson at the plates’ debut:
The salmon appearing on the plate was created by commercial fisherman Herb Goblirsch. Herb has served as an advisor to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
For Further Information Contact the Oregon Department of Transportation at (888) ASK-ODOT.
Jim Little, owner of Little Cattle Company, and member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, raised concerns about the data that was cited by the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) in the "Grazing Comments..." article (page 11) of the last Habitat Hotline (Number 35). According to Little:
Those seeking to remove two Washington dams in order to open up lost fish habitat received great news in February when the Clinton Administration announced that it would dedicate $86 million to go towards the purchase and demolition of the Elwha River dam. The funds will come from the FY 1998 budget of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
[Source: National Parks Service]
The Elwha River was once considered the most productive anadromous fish river on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, though that changed in 1911 when the Elwha dam was built. This facility did not include fish passage and blocked most of the drainage’s spawning habitat. Because of the loss of 93 percent of its historical habitat, populations of Elwha River salmon have been severely reduced, and in some cases, lost entirely.
By removing the lower dam (Elwha), the U.S. Park Service estimates that the additional 8.5 miles of mainstem river and tributaries will be opened up to steelhead and salmon. This new habitat will produce an estimated 20,000 chinook after a 29-33 year recovery period, 27,680 coho in 26-29 years, and 8,270 winter steelhead in 30 to 35 years, as well as additional summer steelhead, sockeye, chum, and pink salmon.
NOW WHAT: Funds from the LWCF for purchase and removal of the Elwha dam will be distributed this year. However, before LWCF projects can be funded, they must be approved by Senator Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) and Representative Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), both of whom chair Department of Interior appropriations committees in the Senate and the House.
Senator Gorton could play a role in the timing of the removal of Glines Canyon dam, the second dam on the Elwha. Gorton, who has fought the removal of the dams in the past, now supports Elwha dam removal. However, his support is conditioned upon a 12-year impact study to be undertaken to determine the impact upon fish populations before considering the removal of Glines Canyon dam. Also, Gorton also wants a moratorium on Columbia and Snake River dam removal. Reports are that Senator Gorton may introduce legislation to mandate his conditions.
Also, President Clinton has proposed funding in his FY
2000 budget to remove the Glines Canyon Dam.
In March, a nationwide coalition of environmental and fishing groups released the report Fisheries, Wetlands, and Jobs, the Value of Wetlands to America’s Fisheries. The report was written by William Kier Associates and is presented by the Clean Water Network, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Campaign to Save California Wetlands. The report focuses on the connection between wetlands and the economic benefits of commercial and recreational fishing, and examines 12 species of fish and shellfish and their connections to wetlands. The report is an update of a 1994 document of the same title.
According to the report:
The relationships between wetlands and fish production are essential. They are well understood by fisheries experts and most fishermen. This report, prepared from scientific publications and government documents, describes the links between wetlands function and the health of some of the nation’s most valuable fish resources.
The values discussed here are substantial. Three quarters of the nation’s fish production depends on marshes and other wetland environments. Fishing contributes $152 billion to the country’s economy and provides jobs for more than one and a half million Americans.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that at the birth of our nation wetlands covered 104 million acres of the contiguous states—an area roughly the size of California. Half of those wetlands are gone. Although our country is largely developed we are still destroying wetlands at a rate of more than 100,000 acres per year. In an October 1997 Clean Water Initiative, President Clinton and Vice President Gore vowed to stop the destruction of wetlands in the United States. They directed the agencies under them to prepare a plan for achieving a net gain of as many as 100,000 acres of wetlands per year by the year 2005.
If we are to face the question of how we will feed and sustain ourselves in the years ahead, the 1997 Clinton-Gore Clean Water Initiative will prove essential to shaping a national wetlands conservation agenda. Congress must also assume a responsible role by ensuring a strong legislative foundation for the protection of clean water, fisheries-dependent jobs and our remaining wetlands. This report makes clear the essential role wetlands must play in a sustainable American Future.
IDAHO/WASHINGTON: Coeur D’Alene Lake
WASHINGTON: Lower Yakima River, Strait Of Georgia, Duwamish River, Puyallup River, Puget Sound
CALIFORNIA Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes, Coyote, San Francisco Bay, Santa Monica Bay, Los Angeles, San Pedro Channel Islands, Seal Beach, Newport Bay, Aliso-San Onofre, and San Diego.
Copies of the 3-volume report are available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Publications and Information, 11029 Kenwood Rd., Bldg. 5, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242. The report may be ordered by phone at (800) 490-9198; by fax at (513) 489-8695; or on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/ncepihom/orderpub.html
In a critical decision last December, the National Marine Fisheries Service ruled that the Milltown Hill project "is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of Umpqua River cutthroat trout and result in the destruction and adverse modification of proposed critical habitat." More importantly, NMFS said the project could go forward if mitigation measures including habitat restoration, buffer zones, and culvert improvements are undertaken. It is also hoped that the year round flows created by the dam will also benefit salmonids.
The last hurdle for the project is to get the blessing of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. (The Commission will need to approve the project if it is constructed without fish passage.) Currently, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is negotiating with Douglas County on the project. In April, the Commission is scheduled to rule on whether the fish passage requirement can be waived. ODFW is on record as supporting the project. Conservation groups that oppose the project include Oregon Trout and the National Wildlife Federation.
The metal can be stripped from the particles, allowing
both the metal and the particles to be recovered, while the process solution
can be recycled to the plant. The extractants placed on the magnetic particles
can be tailored to the need, for example, to remove radionuclides.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Reduce the heat slightly if the onions are browning too much.) Add the garlic and bell peppers. Sauté, uncovered, 10 minutes. Whisk together the wine, water and tomato paste. Pour into the pan; add the paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and olives. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the vinegar. Put the snapper into the pan, spooning the peppers over. Cover pan and cook on medium heat, or at a low simmer, about 12-14 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. Allow to cook until fish is just cooked through. Serve with cubed, boiled red potatoes drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We welcome information on habitat news in your area. Information should pertain to habitat of marine, estuarine, or anadromous fish or shellfish. Feel free to fax us newspaper articles, copies of letters, public hearing notices, etc., to (503) 650-5426. Funding for this publication comes in part from Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration. If you have any questions regarding the contents of this publication, or about our habitat education program, please contact: Stephen Phillips, Editor, Habitat Hotline, 45 SE 82nd Drive, Suite 100, Gladstone, Oregon 97027-2522. Phone: (503) 650-5400, Fax: (503) 650-5426. Messages can also be E-mailed to Stephen_Phillips@psmfc.org. Editorial assistance and layout by Liza Bauman. Printed on 100% recycled sheet with minimum 50% post consumer fiber. Date of Issue: 03/09/98.