Operations at thirteen federal dams in the Willamette River basin may soon be altered to aid threatened upper Willamette River spring Chinook, winter steelhead, and bull trout. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dams, released a draft operations and maintenance programmatic environmental impact statement late last week for public review until January 19, 2023.
The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit today challenging what it says is the “failure of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a national gray wolf recovery plan under the Endangered Species Act.”
Conservationists filed a formal notice this week of their intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for once again denying Montana’s Arctic grayling population Endangered Species Act protections. Arctic grayling is a freshwater fish in the same family (Salmonidae) as salmon, trout, and whitefish.
In response to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed this week to a deadline of December 2024 to determine whether Suckley’s cuckoo bumblebees warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA Fisheries has finalized a report that identifies actions that the agency says have the greatest likelihood of making progress toward rebuilding populations of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River basin to “healthy and harvestable levels.” The agency had released a draft in July for limited comments.
In response to litigation from the Center for Biological Diversity and Idaho Conservation League, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to revoke its permit for a marina and lakeside housing development at the mouth of Trestle Creek on Lake Pend Oreille due to impacts on bull trout listed under the Endangered Species Act. The creek accounts for more than half of the annual bull trout spawning sites in the Pend Oreille Basin.
An Idaho U.S. District Judge Wednesday approved a consent decree between Snake River Waterkeeper and Idaho Power Company that will see more than $500,000 go to the Nez Perce Tribe for projects enhancing water quality in the Snake River basin.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week approved Oregon’s water quality report on temperature in the state’s waters. Also last week, a Washington federal court ordered the EPA to set in motion an update on that state’s water quality criteria for 17 toxins known to harm salmon and steelhead, as well as Southern Resident killer whales that depend on them.
Urgent and comprehensive large-scale actions in the Columbia River basin will be needed to meet mid-range salmon and steelhead abundance goals set by the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force in 2020, according to a draft report by NOAA Fisheries released nearly a month ago by the White House. The agency is now taking comments until the end of the month on a report that could play a key role in the Biden Administration’s efforts to collaboratively move forward on Columbia/Snake river salmon recovery.