[acn-l] ~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 3/17/00<~~ (fwd)

peter.unmack at asu.edu
Fri, 17 Mar 2000 11:09:13 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 00:52:52 EST
Subject: ~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 3/17/00<~~
To: AFS at wyoming.com, ACN-L at pinetree.org, crab-l at ios.bc.ca,
FishingForum at onelist.com, fishhabitat at mail.orst.edu,
oceancoalition at onelist.com, salmon at nw1.riverdale.k12.or.us

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~~> FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 3/17/00<~~
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A WEEKLY QUOTA OF FISHERY SHORTS CAUGHT AND
LANDED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES
AND THE PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN'S
ASSOCIATIONS

VOL 1, NO.11 17 March 2000
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>

CALIFORNIA KELP WARS? Fragile nearshore kelp ecosystems may
be at risk in the near future from commercial kelp harvesters working to
feed large scale abalone aquaculture operations in the Santa Cruz-
Monterey area. Kelp is the sole food used by three major abalone growers
in the region growing well in excess of a million abalone, and more
operations have been given tentative approval at Pilar Point by the Coastal
Commission (a decision which PCFFA is fighting in court (Sublegals 13
March, 2000)). Kelp are also increasingly gathered for other types of
commercial operations, such as the extraction of the emulsifier algin.
However, the kelp forests are also home to a complex ecosystem that
supports both recreational and smallscale commercial fisheries, and they
occur only on a narrow strip along the coast. California DFG is currently
scoping an update to its badly out of date Kelp Management Plan. If you
want to comment on the scoping, written comments must be received no
later than March 20 and should be sent to: California Dept. of Fish
& Game, 200 Lower Ragsdale Drive, #100, Monterey, CA 93940, Attn:
Rob Collins. A recent article on the kelp controversy appeared in the SF
Chronicle on 13 March and can be found at:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/03/
13/MN95875.DTL.

SNAKE RIVER DAM COMMENTS DUE BY 31 MARCH: The
Snake River, which branches off the Columbia River to run through
Southeastern Washington, Oregon, and Idaho was once home to some of
the most abundant and magnificent salmon runs in the nation. With the
construction of four federal dams on the lower Snake in the late 60's and
early 70's, however, all Snake River salmon stocks are now either already
extinct or listed under the Endangered Species Act. This has triggered
fisheries closures all up and down the coast and virtually eliminated
commercial salmon fishing in the Lower Columbia. As a result of
lawsuits, the government is being forced to take action to save these
salmon and must now seriously consider removal of these dams as one
option.

The scientific reports are conclusive: removing these four dams, in
conjunction with better management of salmon habitat, hatcheries, and
harvest, is the only way to return Snake River salmon to sustainable (and
eventually harvestable) levels. Economic assessments also indicate that
dam removal will create more jobs and lead to a stronger economy in the
region in the long-run. These are highly subsidized dams, are not cost
effective and have already required more than $4 billion in mitigation
programs that have utterly failed. Moreover, all the options that would
keep these dams in place will inevitably result in greater ocean salmon
harvest restrictions from central California to SE Alaska. Sacrificing
fishermen by the outright elimination of the SE Alaska and WA troll
fisheries, in fact, is one strategy under serious consideration by federal
agencies as a political expedient to keep from dealing with the real issue
of the dams themselves.

Between now and 31 March, 2000 the United States Army Corps of
Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service will be accepting
comments from the public about the future of Snake River salmon and
the four dams on the lower Snake River that are driving them to
extinction. For further information and addresses to send your comments
you can go to: http://removedams.org. You can also comment
electronically by going to: http://www.salmonforever.org. The draft EIS
can be obtained directly from the web by going to:
http://www.nww.usace.army.mil. For more information on why dam
decommissioning often makes sound economic sense, see:
http://www.pond.net/~pcffa/dams.htm.

CANADIANS TO BREACH DAM FOR SALMON: The government
of British Columbia has reached agreement with a paper company to
demolish a major dam on the Theodosia River, said Environmental News
Service (ENS) on 1 March. Since the dam was built in 1956, there has
been "a clear correlation" between it and the "collapse" of the river's once
abundant salmon runs. In 1956, the year the dam was built, the river
thrived with 100,000 pink salmon, 50,000 chum salmon, and 10,000 coho
salmon. By contrast, estimates for 1999 show a complete loss of pinks,
only 2,000 to 3,000 chum, and three dozen coho, according to B.C.
Heritage Rivers Board. The Rivers Board listed the Theodosia River as
number two on a top-ten list of the province's most endangered rivers in
1999. The dam would be "the first large scale dam to be dismantled in
Canada," and would "do much to repair one of Georgia Strait's great
salmon rivers." The ENS article appears at:
http://ens.lycos.com/ens/mar2000/2000L-03-01-02.html.

DAM REMOVAL SUCCESS STORIES: A recent report by
sportfishing and environmental groups points out that removing dams to
restore fish runs is hardly something new. Dam Removal Success Stories
notes that since 1912 at least 465 dams have been removed, and highlights
26 case studies in depth, including the five Butte Creek dams removed in
1998 as part of a successful effort spearheaded by IFR/PCFFA to restore
spawning and rearing habitat for the ESA listed spring-run chinook in the
upper California Central Valley. An internet verison of the report can be
obtained from: http://www.tu.org/library/conservation.html

DAM LICENSE RESCINDED OVER NMFS DEMAND FOR FISH
LADDER: FERC has rescinded a license it issued in July 1999 to the
Okanogan County PUD for its proposed 4.1 MW Enloe Dam on the
Similkameen River. The PUD has been trying to license the project since
the 1980s, and by July 1999 had reached basic agreement with other
parties on fish passage issues. But NMFS appealed FERC's license and
accused the commission of usurping its authority to make decisions on
fish passage at the Enloe project. NMFS required installation of a fish
ladder that other parties involved in the licensing opposed. For more
information see the article in Fishletter at:
http://www.newsdata.com/enernet/fishletter/fishltr98.html#5.

COASTAL LAW CONFERENCE IN SF 31 MARCH: Golden Gate
University is hosting The American Coast: Law on the Edge, a coastal law
symposium dealing with both California and national coastal issues.
The symposium is free to nonlaywers and will take place 9 AM-3 PM at
536 Mission Street, Second floor Auditorium C, in downtown San
Francisco. For more information contact Paul S. Kibel at (510)419-2235.

CONGRESSIONAL END RUN AROUND WATER QUALITY
STANDARDS? Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate
to exempt forestry activities from all Clean Water Act's pollution control
programs. In the House, Rep. Sandlin (D-TX) introduced H.R. 3609. In
the Senate, Senator Lincoln (D-AR) introduced S.2041. The bills would
create a statutory exemption for all logging activities under the Clean
Water Act. The bills are designed to cripple the current EPA proposal
(part of EPA's TMDL rule package) that would ensure that the forest
industry do its fair share to clean up the nation's polluted rivers, lakes and
coastal waters. Many west coast salmon bearing streams have serious
water quality problems caused by current and past forest practices.
PCFFA was lead plaintiff in a Clean Water Act suit to force the
designation of TMDL standards for many northern California streams, and
is an Intervenor in the case Prosolino vs. Marcus, an attack by the Farm
Bureau and various timber industry groups against designation of TMDLs
for agriculture and logging operations (see Sublegals, 3 March 2000).
Introduction of these bills in Congress is an attempt to short circuit the
courts and make it impossible to clean up these major sources of water
pollution through the Clean Water Act. Text of both bills can be found
on-line at: http://thomas.loc.gov.

NEW REPORT SAYS WA STATE HAS FAILED TO ENFORCE
ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS: A new study says that WA government
agencies have selectively enforced or actively violated laws designed to
protect salmon and fish habitat. In one example, the study's author, Daniel
Jack Chasan, said a 1998 King County study of 38 wetlands mitigation
projects found that 97 percent of them did not work. Chasan's report, "The
Rusted Shield," may provide the impetus for major changes in the state.
PCFFA and IFR also recently successfully sued the WA Dept. of Ecology
to force the implementation of a water metering statute on the books for 6
years that had never been implemented (see Sublegals, 18 Feb. 2000). For
additional information see an article at:
http://www.newsdata.com/enernet/fishletter/fishltr98.html#7.

AGENCIES' COMMON WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN
FOR FEDERAL LANDS: The USFWS is quietly moving ahead with a
program to dismantle or alter some of the 75,000 smaller dams and 2.5
million obstructions in waterways around the country, many on public
lands. In 2000, the it has $900,000 to pump into fish passage projects in
seven watersheds in 12 states, removing four dams and other impediments
and restoring access to more than 1,000 miles of habitat for fish and other
aquatic species. Last year, the program completed restoration projects in
14 states. Some 23,000 acres of riparian, streambank and wetland habitats
were restored and 1,000 miles of river were improved or reopened to
spawning and rearing habitat. In 2001, the program target is to restore
32,000 acres of wetland and riparian habitat and another 1,000 miles of
stream habitat. A working draft of a proposed Unified Federal Policy for
Watershed Management on Federal Lands will soon be published in the
Federal Register. The intent of the policy is to serve as a framework for
better coordination among Federal agencies, States, Tribes, and interested
stakeholders in the management of watersheds. The comment period
closes on 24 April 2000. Copies of the draft are at:
http://www.cleanwater.gov/ufp, or can be obtained by calling the Forest
Service's Team in Salt Lake City, UT at 801-517-1037. Comments can
be sent electronically to: cleanwater/w0_caet-slc at fs.fed.us.

NEW FOREST SERVICE ROADS POLICY: U.S. Forest Service
Chief Mike Dombeck has proposed a new policy for dealing with new
roads and a backlog of road maintenance needs in each of the 155 national
forests. "Only a few activities leave a permanent, indelible mark on the
forests. Road building is one of them," said Dombeck at a news
conference in Salt Lake City. The proposed new rules would subject all
new road projects to a more intensive analysis than in the past. The rule
also requires forest managers to keep a current inventory of roads and
prioritize which ones need immediate maintenance and which need to be
reconstructed, closed, obliterated or converted into a trail. For more
information, check the Forest Service's Roads web site at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/news/roads.

CA BOARD OF FORESTRY ADOPTS INTERIM STREAM
PROTECTION RULES: On 15 March the California Board of Forestry
adopted emergency rules from parts of a rule package, originally
published for 45-day notice on 28 January, to protect threatened and
endangered watersheds from logging impacts. The ESA listing of
steelhead and coastal coho directly implicates poor forestry practices as a
cause of habitat loss. The proposed rules sought additional logging
protections near all types of streams, but the final rule package watered
down those protections to include only larger fish bearing streams, and no
seasonal or upper watershed streams that nevertheless can be serious
sources of hot water and sediment. The new interim rules require less
harvest in buffer zones for Class I (fish-bearing) streams and limit water
diversions and road construction. The originally proposed rules have been
criticized as being not much different than currently, and for relying on a
watershed analysis process in order to make future decisions that does not
yet exist. The proposed rules are at:
http://www.fire.ca.gov/bof/board/board_proposed_rule_packages.html
but the final emergency rules as adopted have not been posted as of the
date of this newsletter.

Excessive sediment loads from logging roads and clearcuts have
always been a major problem for salmon bearing streams. In a special
section in its January, 2000 issue (Vol. 14, Issue 1), Conservation Biology
has published 8 articles focused on the detrimental ecological effects of
roads. The publication can be viewed online at:
http://www.blacksci.co.uk/~cgilib/bsinc.bin?journal=biology. Also, the
California Resource Agency's own Scientific Review Panel concluded in a
report published June 1999 that the state's Forest Practices Act's logging
protections are seriously deficient and "do not ensure protection of
anadromous salmonid populations" on privately owned forest lands
(report at: http://www.ceres.ca.gov/cra/srp.html).

COAST GUARD ENFORCEMENT: The Coast Guard's fisheries
enforcement strategy Ocean Guardian is now on the internet at:
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opl/OceanG/OceanGuard.html#execsum

WELL KNOWN CALIFORNIA FISHERMAN/BIOLOGIST LOST
OVERBOARD: On 12 March the fishing community tragically lost Mike
Maahs, age 44, a long-time northern California fisherman who grew up
working on his fathers's boat, went on to get a fisheries degree from
Humboldt State University, and was a leader in northern California
salmon restoration efforts, including serving in the 1980's on PCFFA staff.
He was lost at sea while pulling crab pots in 12-foot seas in early evening.
He will be much missed.

GOT NEWS?: Submit news items to Molly Thomas, editor at:
ifrfish at aol.com or call the IFR office with the news and a source at
either: (415) 561-FISH (Southwest Office) or (541) 689-2000 (Northwest
Office).
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