Humane Society Misses the Markby Editorial Board
The Olympian, April 15, 2008
Salmon or sea lions, which is it going to be?
The Humane Society has filed a lawsuit on behalf of sea lions, halting plans to exterminate the saltwater predators that gobble up salmon at the base of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Tri-Cities, side with salmon, saying a 2-year study has concluded that some sea lions must be removed for salmon stocks to rebound.
"Because of this lawsuit, we're in imminent danger of losing yet another opportunity to save endangered salmon at Bonneville Dam and our bill would quickly get recovery efforts back on track," the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
They are urging quick action on their bill in the House Natural Resources Committee that would give states and tribes immediate authority to manage the sea lion problem while ensuring that any sea lion removal is targeted and does not effect the stability of the overall sea lion population.
In a letter to their colleagues, Baird and Hastings said, "In light of the unfair and unnecessary delay caused by the Humane Society's lawsuit, it is our hope that the committee will immediately consider the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act and bring it up for a vote." They said lack of action will "delay action for several years" and result in "the death of thousands and thousands of endangered and threatened Pacific salmon."
The legislative solution, not the Humane Society lawsuit, is the right solution.
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