A Big Win for Elwha Wild Fish!
In a big win for wild fish, a federal court ruled on March 26 that federal agencies violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to adequately consider alternatives to the proposed large-scale releases of hatchery salmon and steelhead on the Elwha. The hatchery programs approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) authorize the release of over 7.5 million hatchery fish each year into the Elwha River. NMFS only evaluated two different-sized programs -- one that would release the entire 7.5 million and one that would release zero hatchery fish. Judge Benjamin Settle held that the government's plan was unsupported and arbitrary. This is probably the first time in Washington that an agency hatchery plan was challenged and found to be inadequate with basic environmental laws. We hope that this is the first step to force agencies to ensure that their hatchery programs cannot impede wild fish recovery. Thank you for your on-going support of this important fight! We simply could not prevail without the dedication of wild fish supporters like you. The next step in the Elwha case is for WFC and its partners to reach an agreement with the agencies that would reduce releases of coho and steelhead smolts to approximately 50,000 each. Wild Fish Conservancy, The Conservation Angler, the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee, and the Wild Steelhead Coalition originally filed suit against federal agencies in February 2012. Read the press release: Court Rules That Elwha Hatchery Releases Violate NEPA Donate to Wild Fish Conservancy Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest PO Box 402, 15629 Main Street NE., Duvall, WA 98019 425.788.1167 : [email protected] www.wildfishconservancy.org