February 22, 2005

Crapo: Salmon Recovery Too Slow, May Require Hearing

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said today the apparent slow pace of efforts to recover endangered salmon and steelhead stocks is likely to prompt him to call for hearings In Idaho and Washington, D.C. to find solutions to the problem. Crapo, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water, has made his own salmon proposals based in part on recommendations for increased funding. Additionally, he said the Pacific Northwest has the responsibility to make sufficient progress under the terms of the federal biological opinion in a timely fashion.Crapoâ??s remarks come as the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) comes under increased fire from the Northwest Power Planning Council and others for threatening to cut funding dedicated to fish and wildlife programs. Crapo also commented as the â??Save Our Wild Salmonâ?? Coalition issued a report indicating federal recovery efforts for anadromous fish are taking too long and are underfunded. Crapo released the following statement with regard to salmon recovery and todayâ??s report from salmon advocates:"Salmon recovery efforts for years have suffered from the same woes--too little cooperation and too little money. This latest report underscores that already well-understood problem. The bottom line regarding the current status of anadromous fish recovery in the Pacific Northwest is that there are not yet enough resources and there is not yet enough teamwork to get the job done."Congress, the Administration, and its many agencies need to accelerate the pace of implementing measures we all know will help fish recovery. I am particularly concerned about the Bonneville Power Administration's proposed cuts in its Fish and Wildlife Program and the lack of appropriations dedicated to habitat improvement."I am sufficiently concerned about the status of the entire recovery effort that I believe a formal Senate hearing should be convened by my subcommittee to give all those who are concerned an opportunity to weigh in on how we get these fish recovered. We are losing time and wasting too many efforts on this matter." # # #