FISHLINK NEWS 2-23-96

FISH1IFR at aol.com
Sat, 24 Feb 1996 02:06:26 -0500

>>>> FISHLINK NEWS 2-23-96 <<<<
(Vol. 2, No 3)

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Fisheries and Conservation News
from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
and the Insititute for Fisheries Resources
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PLEASE REPOST TO YOUR NETWORKS
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IN THIS ISSUE:

Editor's Note: This issue contains the latest news on the logging without
laws
timber rider. This law is opposed by virtually every fishery organization in
the
Northwest, and is expected to result in the extinction of several key salmon
runs unless repealed. See previous issues of this newsletter for additional
coverage.

1. BREAKING NEWS: PRESIDENT CLINTON EXPECTED TO MAKE MAJOR
ANNOUNCEMENT ON LOGGING RIDER IN SEATTLE VISIT SATURDAY

2. PCFFA BRIEFING PAPER: DEVASTATING LOGGING RIDER IMPACTS
ON THE FISHING INDUSTRY

3. FISHING GROUPS MOVE FOR ESA PROTECTION OF SEARUN
CUTTHROAT IN EFFORT TO FIGHT LOGGING RIDER SALES

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But first:
QUOTABLE QUOTES

All those candidates who run for office these days by ranting and raving
against big government . . . why weren't they stepping forward this week
urging FEMA to go home and leave us alone after the flood?
---Jonathon Nicholas, columnist for The Oregonian (Friday, Feb. 16,
1996 in Living, Page E1)

"The N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) doesn't have demonstrations. They
write letters. In fact, direct action, as a political tactic, is
second-choice. The
first choice is to exercise political power, to scare them into voting the
right
way. Direct action is what you do when you have no power. Blacks in the
South had to use direct action until they got a voting rights act. Another
problem
is, we listen the critics who say, 'Oh, these politicians won' twant to
listen
to the voters, all they do is listen to campaign contributions.' In fact,
votes will beat money any day. Any politician forced to choose between his
campaign contributors and strong public sentiment is going to vote public
sentiment.
Campaign contributions are fungible, you can get new ones. You can't get new
voters."
--- Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), The New York Times Sunday
Magazine, February 4, 1996, page 25.

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. May your chains set lightly
upon you. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity
forget that ye were our countrymen. --- Samuel Adams

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1. BREAKING NEWS: PRESIDENT CLINTON EXPECTED TO MAKE MAJOR
ANNOUNCEMENT ON LOGGING RIDER IN SEATTLE VISIT SATURDAY

Congressional sources have confirmed that the President is likely to
make
a major policy statement in his Seattle visit Saturday February 24th that
will
affect the infamous "timber salvage rider" which recently suspended literally
all environmental laws on the nation's national forests. The impacts of this
"lawless
logging" rider are particularly heavy in the Northwest. About ten square
miles of
key watershed salmon spawning areas in old growth forests and marbled
murrelet
nesting areas are now scheduled for cutting as a result of federal court
rulings
obtained by the timber industry which gave it the broadest possible
interpretation. These cuts have been condemned by the agencies, and
were cancelled originally because of their likely severe environmental
impacts on sensitive and already severely depressed salmon runs, and upon the
declining
marbled murrelet, an elusive seabird that nests only in coastal old-growth.
Some
were cancelled because they violated the laws in effect at that time. Now,
under
protest and in the face of a direct court order, these sales must go forward
under
their original terms, and regardless of all environmental consequences.

Of particular concern are sales which are expected to wipe out ESA
listed or candidate salmon and searun cutthroat trout runs which other
governement
programs are now spending tens of millions of dollars trying to protect.
These
losses also make it much more likely that coho salmon and other salmonid
species will require ESA protection to assure their continued existance.

Most of the Northwest's streams were also severely damaged in the recent

record floods. Landslides in clearcut areas are common, and an enormous silt

load is flooding spawning areas. Most of the region is under a federal
Declaration
of Emergency, and many groups have petitioned the White House for a halt to
all timber salvage sales until the damage done to the region's salmon runs
can
be fully assessed. There is speculation that the President will take this
route
out of what has become a politically untenable situation for his
Administration.

We will keep you posted as this issue develops.

---
The Editor
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PCFFA BRIEFING PAPER -- FEEL FREE TO REPUBLISH

2. DEVASTATING LOGGING RIDER IMPACTS
ON THE FISHING INDUSTRY

Likely extinction of key Snake River ESA listed salmon
populations:

Heroic efforts and hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to revive
ESA listed snake river chinook in the upper Columbia Basin. As many as
25,000 family wage salmon-produced jobs have been lost due to salmon
collapses in the Columbia. Meanwhile several "section 318 sales" will
proceed under the rider which will wipe out much of the remnants of their
historic spawning grounds:

>From October 13, 1995, sworn declaration of Jacqueline Wyland,
Ph.D., Chief of Environmental and Technical Services Division,
National Marine Fisheries Service, Portland, OR (most relevant
portions emphasized):

"Listed Snake River fall chinook salmon occur in the Grande Ronde
River. Historic estimates for fall chinook salmon in this river are
unavailable. However, current populations are below self-sustaining
levels. Fall chinook spawning success in the Grande Ronde River
probably is limited by sedimentation of spawning habitat, loss of pool
habitat, and winter icing of the river... These effects are largely due
to land management activities both within and outside of the national
forest system. Forest management in headwater areas is likely to have
increased peak flows and channel disturbance, degrading fall chinook
habitat." (Pgs 8 -9)

"Since the Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon were listed
as threatened in 1992, NMFS has conducted numerous consultations
with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. One of the first formal
consultations evaluated eleven timber sales in the Upper Grande
Ronde River watershed. The Forest Service has identified nine of
those same sales as ones that could be released with their pre-
consultation terms [under the salvage rider].... By allowing these
sales to be released with their pre-consultation terms, the level of
incidental taking of these listed salmon species will be increased at
a time when their condition is particularly precarious. If these nine
sales are released with only their pre-consultation terms, their
environmental effects could jeopardize the continued existence of the
Upper Grande Ronde River populations of spring/summer chinook
salmon. These salmon are an important component of the remnant
population of Grand Ronde River spring/summer chinook, which
would also be put at greater risk of extinction." (Pgs. 9 -- 10)

Several severely depressed coastal salmon, cutthroat and
steelhead stocks will likely be extinguished:

Section 318 sales are "clustered" in areas where coho salmon, searun
cutthroat and steelhead stocks are the most seriously depressed and are ESA
candidate species, including several runs of vital importance to both
commercial and recreational fisheries. The US government as well as the
State of Oregon is spending tens of millions of dollars trying to rescue
these
fish from extinction while simultaneously several "section 318" sales will
likely
seriously damage or utterly extinguish some of these remnant runs. If these
sales proceed it will make a coastwide ESA listing of coho salmon far more
likely, and recovery efforts far more difficult, which will mean more coastal
fishing closures in order to protect these weak stocks, and tens of millions
of
dollars more loss to our industry.

Sworn declaration of Jacqueline Wyland:

Chetco River sales:

"Logging these sales [in the Chetco River] as originally planned will
likely result in significant cumulative adverse effects to adjacent and
downstream habitats for KMP steelhead and coho salmon due to the
small size of the watershed, the large number of timber harvest units
in the watershed, the watershed's steep slopes and unconsolidated
soils, and inadequate riparian protection provided by the original
timber sale designs." (Pg. 19)

Umpqua River sales:

"Stream buffers included in the timber sale layout for Dead
Middleman [one of several sales] are inadequate to protect fisheries
and aquatic resources. Unit 1 contains a 700-foot long segment of
fish bearing (second order) stream that would receive only a 25-foot
buffer. The seven total timber sale units also have approximately
10,000 feet of unbuffered first- and second-order streams. Although
many are intermittent, some are very likely fish-bearing streams during
part of the year. The fish-bearing streams contain resident cutthroat
trout, which are included in the ESU proposed as "threatened." ....
The aggregate effects of this timber sale, when combined with the
effects of other Forest Service and BLM 318' timber sales in the
South Fork, would adversely affect the anadromous fish resources of
the South Fork, particularly Umpqua cutthroat trout." (Pg. 20)

Quotes from the October 3, 1995, letter to Forest Service
Supervisor John Lowe:

Five Umpqua River Basin timber sales:

"In that conference, the FS submitted a Biological Assessment (BA)
that concluded that the four of the five timber sales were likely to
jeopardize Umpqua River cutthroat trout. Although the aquatic
screens had been run on these sales, the recommendations made by
"Screening and Review Teams" from the Umpqua National Forest and
the FS's Regional Office, the recommendations made by these teams
were not fully implemented in the timber sale designs. Consequently,
significant adverse aquatic impacts remained and the BA concluded
that four of the five timber sales were likely to jeopardize Umpqua
River sea-run cutthroat trout (the fifth sale, Honeytree, was
determined to be Likely to Adversely Affect')." (Pg 2 of Memo)

"NMFS does not believe that these particular actions can be modified
to completely avoid adverse effects to anadromous salmonids." (Pg.
2 of Memo)

"Like the South Fork Umpqua, many tier 1 key watersheds have
already experienced significant timber harvest entry and road-related
disturbance in the past, and currently exhibit degraded baseline
environmental conditions. The recent round of watershed analyses,
done in key watersheds in 1994-5, confirm that the typical tier 1 key
watershed as a whole is barely able to provide the high quality
habitats anadromous salmonids need to survive and reproduce; many
show evidence of high sediment loads, elevated water temperatures,
loss of large woody debris, reduced channel sinuosity, increased
channel width, and loss of overall instream habitat complexity.
While usually only a portion of a tier 1 key watershed is fully
functional, these last best habitats' are critical to the long-term
survival of the species, and it is in fact these remaining high quality
areas that are most at risk from the 318 sales. In the Elk River, for
example (see list enclosed), the 318 sales are located in the North
Fork subwatershed, which has the best habitat conditions and
supports the largest salmonid populations. ... High concentrations of
318 sale activity within a proposed ESU are particularly apparent in
the Oregon Coast ESU for coho salmon (proposed as "threatened")
and the Umpqua Cutthroat Trout ESU (proposed as "endangered")."
(Pg. 3 of Memo)

This Memo also raised serious concerns with Eastside 318 sales in the
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well.

Net fishing closures will result from reduced populations of
marbled murrelets:

Marbled murrelets nest only in coastal old-growth forests, but feed out at
sea
where they sometimes can get caught in commercial fishing nets and drown.
Between 90% and 95% of the marbled murrelet's old-growth habitat is now
gone, driving it to near extinction. Since the marbled murrelet is listed as
"threatened" under the ESA, the commercial offshore net fishery is operated
under an "incidental take permit," and accidental catch of these threatened
seabirds has been carefully limited.

However, if this seabird becomes downlisted as "endangered" no incident
permits will be issued -- the result could be widespread job loss and
unemployment among commercial net fishermen coastwide. The more
onshore old-growth habitat is lost for the bird's recovery, the more likely
it
is to be downlisted.

At least 59 rider-revived clearcut sales in murrelet nesting areas (canceled
as
illegal under the old laws which under the rider now no longer apply) must
now go forward under their original (previously illegal) terms. According to
USFWS scientists, these timber sales will wipe out 14% of all known marbled
murrelet nesting sites in Oregon and Washington. In the Siuslaw, one of the
best remaining refuges for the bird in the Northwest, these clearcuts will
wipe
out 25% of all known nesting sites in the refuge. Altogether, we are talking
about 6.4 square miles of old-growth clearcut right in key nesting areas.
All
this is after the loss of almost 95% of its habitat already. According to
USFWS sworn statements in court: