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McDermott cites insufficient revision from Bush Administration plan

mcdermott.ofcWASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Jim McDermott questioned whether the National Marine Fisheries Service's revised plan for protecting 13 stocks of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers included adequate improvements over the 2008 version. 
The updated plan—which was issued yesterday—is the result of a voluntary 90-day review period during which National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) modified a 2008 Bush Administration plan that a federal judge had indicated was unlikely to pass legal muster without significant changes.
"I have deep concerns that this revised plan does not include sufficient improvements over the 2008 version to accomplish its purpose of protecting salmon," said Rep. Jim McDermott. "An issue as complex and important to our way of life as Columbia Basin salmon restoration requires more than just minor changes—it requires a renewed commitment to following best practices and the very best science.  This plan falls far short of what's needed to put imperiled wild salmon and steelhead on a path toward real recovery."
Rep. McDermott cited additional problems to the revised report, including:
- Insufficient discussion of the merits of spill – the practice of sending additional water over dams to help young salmon safely reach the Pacific Ocean – despite evidence that it's the most effective way to aid juvenile fish in their journey through the water system.
- Failure to update the 2008 plan as it relates to connecting the fate of endangered Puget Sound Orcas to the diminishing numbers of their preferred prey: Columbia Basin wild chinook.
Rep. McDermott has authored a bill, the Salmon Solutions and Planning Act (H.R. 3503), that would immediately initiate scientific and economic studies to ensure that both Congress and federal agencies are prepared to make salmon management decisions based on the best and most up-to-date information.
For more information about Rep. McDermott, visit
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