Cassidy Recommended for Pacific Salmon Commissionby Staff
Columbia Basin Bulletin - April 18, 2003
Lifelong "fish advocate" Frank "Larry" Cassidy, who represents Washington on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, will likely soon enter a new arena following his selection this week by the governors of Oregon and Washington to serve on the Pacific Salmon Commission.
That recommendation must now be endorsed by President George W. Bush.
The Pacific Salmon Commission was established by treaty between Canada and the United States on March 18, 1985, for the "conservation, rational management, and optimum production of Pacific salmon."
The commission is a sixteen- person body with four commissioners and four alternates each from the United States and Canada, representing the interests of commercial and recreational fisheries as well as federal, state and tribal governments. Each country has one vote in the commission. The agreement of both is required for any recommendation or decision by the commission. The four U.S. commissioners include representatives of Alaska, American Indian tribes, Oregon/Washington and a non-voting federal appointee.
Cassidy, if approved by the Bush Administration, would take his seat on the commission by June, or perhaps sooner. The Vancouver, Wash., resident would take the place of Curt Smitch, whose term expires in June. Smitch was appointed to the commission while serving as director of Washington Gov. Gary Locke's Salmon Recovery Office. Smitch retired in June 2002 from his position with the state.
"He wants to get on to something else," Cassidy said of Smitch. Locke last weekend approached Cassidy about taking on the unpaid Pacific Salmon Commission post, and Cassidy said he agreed immediately. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has also endorsed the appointment, Cassidy said.
Despite lifelong participation on Northwest fish and wildlife and energy panels, the commission represents a relatively new realm for Cassidy -- dealing with international issues related to ocean-going salmon. That stage of the salmon's life history is particularly important so regulating fisheries is crucial.
"Salmon -- they don't know borders and they spend three-quarters of their time in the ocean," Cassidy. The commission itself does not regulate the salmon fisheries but provides regulatory advice and recommendations to the two countries.
"It'll be a real challenge for me," Cassidy said. This is not the first time Locke has tabbed Cassidy for duty. The governor appointed the businessman to the Northwest Power Planning Council in 1998. He served as that panel's chairman for three years. Cassidy is also serving on the state's Salmon Recovery Funding Board, again at Locke's behest.
Cassidy also was a member of the Washington State Game Commission from 1973 to 1985, serving four years as chairman. He recently served a full term on the John Day/Snake River Regional Advisory Committee for the Department of Interior. He holds a life membership in Trout Unlimited and the Northwest Steelheaders. He is also a member of the Fly Fishing Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He served as the National Vice President of Trout Unlimited and the President of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders.
He was also a member of the National Marine Fisheries Commission and, prior to his appointment to the Northwest Power Planning Council, was the CEO and owner of two family businesses in the plumbing field.
Management of Pacific salmon has long been a matter of common concern to the United States and Canada. In 1985, after many years of negotiation, the Pacific Salmon Treaty was signed, setting long-term goals for the benefit of the salmon and the two countries. That treaty was amended in 1999 after long negotiation. The commission was formed to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
The commission has responsibility for all salmon originating in the waters of one country which are subject to interception by the other country's fishers, affect management of the other country's salmon or affect biologically the stocks of the other country. In addition, the Pacific Salmon Commission is charged with taking into account the conservation of steelhead trout while fulfilling its other functions.
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