May 13, 2011
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement applauding NOAA’s authorization to lethally remove California sea lions:
“As Northwest residents spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to protect salmon, California sea lions camp out at Bonneville Dam and other areas along the Columbia River and gorge themselves on endangered fish. With all other methods exhausted, it is welcome news that NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service today released letters authorizing the states of Oregon and Washington to lethally remove California sea lions that prey on endangered salmon. Lethal removal of the most aggressive sea lions is the only option left to deter predation, help protect endangered salmon and recoup more of our region’s substantial investment in salmon recovery.
“While NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service authorization is good news for Northwest residents and endangered salmon and steelhead populations, Congress must remain focused on passing bipartisan legislation, H.R. 946, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, to avoid additional lawsuits and provide more long-term certainty for salmon in this critical matter.”
The House Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold hearings on this legislation in the coming weeks.
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