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Byline: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)

Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.

The Clinton administration declared a California run of coho salmon Coho salmon

 threatened Friday, but in a politically charged move, kept part of Oregon's dwindling dwin·dle  
v. dwin·dled, dwin·dling, dwin·dles

To become gradually less until little remains.
To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease.
 population off the list so the state can try its own protection plan.

The government's decision, originally due in October 1994, is headed for a court battle with environmentalists and fishing groups who say the coastal coho coho
 or silver salmon

Species (Oncorhynchus kisutch) of salmon prized for food and sport that ranges from the Bering Sea to Japan and the Salinas River of Monterey Bay, Cal. It weighs about 10 lbs (4.
 runs of central and northern Oregon also are on the brink of extinction.

Population units straddling strad·dle  
v. strad·dled, strad·dling, strad·dles
a. To stand or sit with a leg on each side of; bestride: straddle a horse.

 the Oregon-California border will be protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1531 et seq.) was enacted to protect animal and plant species from extinction by preserving the ecosystems in which they survive and by providing programs for their conservation. , Clinton administration officials said.

But the major Oregon coastal coho population that once supported a $100 million fishing industry will be treated only as a possible candidate for listing.

It's the latest in a growing number of agreements the administration has entered into with states and private companies to protect fish and wildlife. The agreements substitute for federal recovery plans enforcing the Endangered Species Act, which is due up for reauthorization before a Republican-controlled Congress.

Protection under the act triggers new federal restrictions on logging, farming and livestock grazing near fish-bearing streams.

``This decision reflects the enormous and untapped flexibility of the Endangered Species Act,'' Will Stelle, Northwest regional director of the National Marine Fisheries Service The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a United States federal agency. A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Commerce, NMFS is responsible for the stewardship and management of the nation's living marine  in Seattle, told The Associated Press.

``It plows important new ground in which state conservation efforts based upon solid commitments and strong science define the road map for recovery under the Endangered Species Act.''

Environmentalists denounced the decision for the Oregon runs, saying tighter federal control was the only way to bring back the salmon.

``Today the federal government failed to protect the valuable but imperiled salmon runs,'' said Tryg Sletteland, head of the Pacific Rivers Council in Eugene, Ore. ``That's a particularly bad deal, not just for the coho, but for the economy of the Northwest.''

Coho once numbered as many as 1.4 million along the central and northern Oregon coast, but now only about 80,000 native coho salmon migrate there, NMFS NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service
NMFS National Mortality Followback Survey
NMFS Network Multimedia File System
NMFS Nested Mount File System

Along the southern Oregon and Northern California coasts, where there used to be 150,000 to 400,000 coho salmon, fewer than 10,000 are estimated to survive.

The Oregon plan forged by Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and state legislative leaders relies on voluntary efforts to clean up streams and restore salmon habitat. The Legislature has committed $30 million over the next two years for the project, but up to half that money is expected to be donated by the timber industry and trade organizations.

The fisheries service originally was hesitant to approve the plan because of conditions the timber industry placed on its offer to help pay for it. But Stelle said those concerns were addressed during negotiations with Kitzhaber and others.

Stelle said the Oregon plan addresses the three major causes of the coho's demise - overfishing Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans. More precise biological and bioeconomic terms define 'acceptable level'. , destruction of upstream spawning habitat and weakening of wild stocks through excessive hatchery hatchery

a commercial establishment dedicated to the hatching of bird eggs to provide day old chicks and poults to the poultry industry.

hatchery liquid
the contents of unfertilized eggs. Used in petfood manufacture.

``Without the Oregon plan, these stocks are in serious trouble,'' Stelle said.

``With the Oregon plan, there are significant improvements, especially in terms of the short- and middle-term risks, the elimination of overfishing and major reductions in the threats posed by hatchery production,'' he said.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Apr 26, 1997

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