Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Chipping away at the Endangered Species Act

New Rule on Endangered Species in the Southwest - New York Times

This article in the New York Times is an example of the ongoing effort to chip away at the Endangered Species Act, a priority for some GOP members of Congress and certain factions in the Interior Department.

The example here takes place in the Southwestern U.S., but it builds on a ruling in Oregon regarding the endangered Coho salmon. The gist of the Oregon ruling, made by a judge, not a scientist, was that there was not much difference genetically between wild and hatchery raised salmon, so they all should be counted together. Every scientist I've talked to about this is outraged, usually after they stop shaking their head and laughing at the lack of sense in the ruling.

Once again, these issues are covered extensively in the documentary, where I talk to fishery biologists, government officials and environmentalists. I also covered a Congressional hearing about the Endangered Species Act last summer that took place in Klamath Falls, OR. An interesting event.

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