Despite big numbers, Oregon coho still protected


Author:  Damien M. Schiff

This Monday the National Marine Fisheries Service issued its decision to retain the Oregon Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of the coho salmon as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  The decision comes despite significant high recent returns of coho salmon.  The Service ruled that its recently completed status review substantiated the continued listing of the salmon, due largely to continuing habitat threats from agriculture and urban development, as well as global warming.  Although the Service delisted the coho in 2006, Trout Unlimited successfully challenged that delisting in federal district court in Oregon in 2007.  PLF represented Alsea Valley Alliance in that case to defend the Service's delisting, but Alsea's appeal of the delisting overturning was dismissed in the Ninth Circuit as being moot in 2008, once the Service, after remand, decided to relist the coho.