Victory for the bull trout

  • Bull trout areas

    Diane Sylvain
  Compelled by continuing litigation from environmentalists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed two populations of bull trout as threatened - one in Oregon's Klamath River Basin and the other in the huge Columbia River Basin, reaching into Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The legal battle was waged by three nonprofit groups - Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Wild Swan and Swan View Coalition (HCN, 12/9/96). They called the listing a major victory for watershed protection in 32 national forests. Bruce Farling of Montana Trout Unlimited says the listing requires greater cooperation among federal agencies to protect bull trout and also obligates Fish and Wildlife to scrutinize the impacts of mining proposals, such as Montana's controversial McDonald mine. Public hearings on the listing will be held July 1 in Portland; July 8 in Spokane; July 10 in Missoula; July 15 in Klamath Falls, Ore.; and July 17 in Boise, all at 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Hearings on other proposed bull trout populations will be held July 7 in Lacey, Wash.; July 9 in Mount Vernon, Wash.; July 14 in East Glacier, Mont.; and July 21 in Jackpot, Nev., at the same times. The decision appeared in the Federal Register on June 10. Send comments before Aug. 12 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Snake River Basin Field Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Room 368, Boise, ID 83709.