Judge nixes salmon plan

  Oregon's Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber had high hopes that his plan for saving coastal coho salmon from extinction could stave off listing the fish as endangered, and set an example of stewardship for other Western states.


The "Oregon Plan" featured collaboration among private landowners, who own 65 percent of the salmon's habitat, the local timber industry and citizens concerned about the disappearance of the once-abundant native fish.


Kitzhaber last year won the support of a key federal agency that lists species as endangered - the National Marine Fisheries Service. But now, Kitzhaber's plan seems dead, and a listing of the fish inevitable.


Ruling on a lawsuit filed by environmentalists, federal Judge Janice Stewart has given the Fisheries Service until Aug. 3 to reconsider its decision not to list the coho. The judge was convinced by statements from critics such as Bill Bakke, director of the Native Fish Society, who said, "It's going to take many Kitzhaber-type administrations and follow-through by government and at the local level to make this a success story. And we don't have any assurance that's going to happen."


Kitzhaber, clearly upset at the judge's ruling, ordered the state to appeal. Represented by the Justice Department, the Fisheries Service said it also would appeal the judge's decision.


Kitzhaber's collaborative plan hinged on a state tax on timber, but included a clause terminating the tax if a federal endangered listing were approved. Environmentalists had attacked the clause as "blackmail," while Judge Stewart called it a "self-inflicted wound."


* Carlotta Collette


High Country News Classifieds
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • FEATURES DIRECTOR - HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Features Director to join our editorial...
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...