It's All About the Fish
By PEGGY ANDERSEN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SeattlePI
"Conservation groups Thursday challenged a new government policy that includes hatchery fish in counts used to determine the status of dwindling salmon and steelhead runs.
"In a federal court lawsuit the plaintiffs also challenged the downlisting of upper Columbia steelhead -- from endangered to threatened -- that has resulted from that policy.
"'The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to protect wildlife's ability to sustain itself in the wild. And that means the focus is on wild steelhead in rivers, not steelhead that are produced in hatcheries,' said Patti Goldman of Earthjustice.
"Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of six plaintiff groups against the National Marine Fisheries Service and its regional director, Bob Lohn."