Groups Seek Salmon Delistingby Capital Press - October 12, 2001
ELLENSBURG, Wash. - Bolstered by this year's robust salmon runs and a recent federal district court ruling against the listing of Oregon's coastal coho, a group of farm interests decided last week to work together on having some of the salmon runs in Washington state delisted.
Paul LaCroix, manager of the Western Washington Agricultural Association, said the nine farm groups in the Agriculture, Fish and Water ag caucus plan to petition the National Marine Fisheries Service to delist the Puget Sound chinook and all listed fish with hatchery programs.
The groups in the ag caucus represent major industry interests: beef and dairy cattle, horticulture, potatoes, wheat and hay plus Grange, Farm Bureau and the WWAA.
Once the ag groups file the petition, NMFS has 90 days to respond. If it accepts the petition, it has a year to propose delisting and another year for the delisting process, which includes public hearings. LaCroix said if the agency rejects the petition, the farm groups have the option of suing NMFS.
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