Sea lions get reprieve

first_imgFederal fisheries authorities have lifted their authorization for Oregon and Washington to kill sea lions eating endangered salmon at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River while a legal challenge from the Humane Society of the United States works its way through court.In a letter dated July 22, James H. Lecky, director of the Office of Protected Resources for NOAA Fisheries, told Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife agencies they can apply for a new authorization for next year.“We have evaluated the litigation risks and discussed with your staffs various options for proceeding,” Lecky wrote. “In light of the fact that sea lion activity will be limited until next spring, we have concluded it is in our collective interest to permanently suspend the 2011 (authorization) and instead consider a new request for 2012.”Steve Williams, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said they would apply for a new permit, and expected to get it.“It’s a disappointing, frustrating situation for us in the state, but it appears to be the best course of action at this point in time,” he said. “We believe that removal of the animals at the dam has been effective.”last_img read more

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