Justice for the cutthroat

  When it listed bulltrout as a threatened species recently (HCN, 6/22/98), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also announced that westslope cutthroat trout deserved study for possible protection. The move was pushed by six conservation groups - American Wildlands, Madison Gallatin Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Idaho Watersheds Project, Montana Environmental Information Center, Clearwater Biodiversity Project and Pacific Rivers Council. They sued the Fish and Wildlife Service after it delayed a mandatory 90-day finding on their petition for more than six months. The groups were joined by flyfisherman Bud Lilly, who helped show that cutthroat habitat in parts of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington has been reduced to as little as 8 percent of its former area. Jon Marvel of the Idaho Watershed Project says livestock grazing, irrigation, mining and logging are to blame for the degraded habitat. To request the petition, call Rob Ament of American Wildlands at 406/586-8175, or Doug Honnold of Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund at 406/586-9699, and to send comments for the study on the cutthroat trout by Aug. 10, write: Chief, Branch of Native Fishes Management, Montana Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Office, 4052 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, MT 59715.

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