Buoyed by Niners' Ruling,
by Bill Rudolph
The Pacific Legal Foundation, fresh from a victory in the Ninth Circuit Court that effectively tossed out the ESA listing for Oregon coastal coho, is now suing the federal government over its West Coast ESA listings for steelhead.
PLF attorney Russell Brooks said the feds can't find any genetic differences between wild and hatchery steelhead or the resident component, rainbow trout, but they have listed only wild steelhead for ESA protection. He says that's wrong based on the recent Ninth Circuit decision that ruled NOAA Fisheries illegally listed only the wild component of the coastal coho for protection, when they should have included the genetically identical hatchery component as well.
"The plaintiffs in this case are over 100,000 farmers, ranchers, community leaders, and citizens, most of whom provide food and agricultural products for the entire nation," said Brooks. "When the livelihoods of so many people and a critical sector of the American economy hang in the balance, the government should be working overtime to follow the law, not finding ways to subvert it."
Plaintiffs include the Washington State Grange, Oregon State Grange, Washington Farm Bureau, Alsea Valley Alliance, Okanogan County, Kittitas County, and the Building Industry Association of Washington.
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