March 09, 2005

Bull Trout Recovery Hearing

Goals, state leadership role to be discussed

ashington, D.C. â?? Bull trout recovery efforts will be on the agenda for an upcoming hearing held in Boise by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate Fisheries, Wildlife & Water Subcommittee. â??The bull trout issue will have a significant impact on the credibility of the Endangered Species Act,â?? said Crapo. â??The bull trout was listed only after a long debate on whether listing was necessary and its populations continue to do well in many places in Idaho. The recovery program should recognize these facts and stay out of the way of successful state programs.â??The Bull Trout is currently listed as â??threatenedâ?? under the Endangered Species Act. The hearing will be held in Boise on August 26, and will include testimony from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state officials, and individuals representing sporting, landowner, and conservation interests. â??This is an exciting opportunity for all of those who are affected by this decision and who want to see progressive action instead of precautionary paralysis,â?? said Crapo. â??If we are to act, then state governments must take the lead management authority in as many instances as possible.â?? â??The recovery plan must provide clear, measurable goals, and must include state government in management,â?? continued Crapo. â??Through meaningful discussion and collaboration with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the state of Idaho will be empowered to exercise leadership in the recovery of this valuable resource in a manner that works to protect the interests of those affected by recovery activities.â??The Bull Trout was listed as â??threatenedâ?? under the Endangered Species Act in Idaho on June 10, 1998. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), there are 27 recovery units throughout the range of bull trout, each of which has its own recovery strategy. Those plans were released for public comment in late November of 2002.# # #