January 25, 2006

Crapo Reacts To CEQ Chairman on Salmon

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo issued the following reaction to remarks on salmon recovery made today in Portland by James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality."Jim Connaughton's speech presents ideas that are intriguing, and yet raise some items of concern. We all agree that wild anadromous fish recovery needs to be properly balanced among all the H's-habitat, hydropower, hatchery, and harvest."However, there are many uncoordinated activities, understandably so, occurring in the region at this time-lawsuits, appeals, remands, other harvest reviews, habitat programs, and many hydropower activities. And many of these activities are managed by state or tribal governments. The matter of how we coordinate these ongoing efforts region-wide is a threshold decision that must be made before we move forward. It would be useful to recognize the recently-completed Nez Perce Agreement as a model of difficult negotiation and collaboration that resulted in a durable agreement. "Additionally, hatcheries provide for our salmon and steelhead sport fishery so we must be mindful of the impact that changing hatchery practices and policies might have. Not only is hook and line fishing an iconic regional activity, but it is also the basis of a great many local economies in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. Certainly many existing hatchery practices must be reviewed, but we cannot forget the thousands of anglers that work very hard for anadromous fish recovery. I am pleased to support the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery initiatives, and believe these techniques to hold great potential. "It is my hope that Chairman Connaughton's remarks stimulate a solution-oriented regional effort to develop a recovery plan to restores our wild anadromous fish to sustainable, harvestable numbers; while preserving reliable and affordable electricity, a strong economy, and diverse culture in our region. "I look forward to working with the Administration, other members of Congress, and all interested parties in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, in this critically-important effort."