Calls on Baldacci administration to “end four years of opposition and focus on recovery”
New England Conservation Director
4/25/2003 -- Augusta, ME -- Augusta, Maine . . . Trout Unlimited (TU) applauded US District Judge Gene Carter’s ruling yesterday upholding the federal decision to list Maine’s Atlantic salmon as “endangered”.
In a summary judgment released Thursday, Judge Carter upheld the listing decision and dismissed claims by the State of Maine and a coalition of industry groups opposing the listing that the decision was “arbitrary and capricious.”
“This is the right decision,” said Jeff Reardon, TU’s New England Conservation Director. “Last year the National Academy of Science found that the listing decision was based on sound science. Now Judge Carter has rejected claims that there were legal or procedural mistakes.”
Trout Unlimited called on Governor Baldacci and the State of Maine to end its opposition to the listing. “The science and the law are clear. It’s time for Maine to end four years of opposition and focus its efforts on salmon recovery,” said Greg Ponte, Chair of TU’s Maine Council.
When Maine’s Atlantic salmon were listed in November, 2000, Governor Angus King and industry groups asked for a 6 month delay to address concerns about the science supporting the listing. Maine’s Congressional delegation arranged funding for the National Academy of Science (NAS) to review the scientific record. The NAS report on salmon genetics was released in January, 2002 and found that: “Maine streams have salmon populations that are genetically as divergent from Canadian salmon populations and from each other as would be expected in natural salmon populations anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere.” The NAS is scheduled to release a second reporting with recommendations for recovery within the next few months.
“Judge Carter’s decision gives the state an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s time to stop wasting money on fruitless challenges to the listing decision and start working with all concerned parties to prevent salmon extinction,” said Ponte.
TU noted that last year fewer than 10 wild salmon returned to the 3 rivers with counting facilities.
For more information: Jeff Reardon, (207) 623-1470