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<p>The following was released today by Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy:
Today the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will begin enforcing 4(d) rules for salmon in the Pacific Northwest, threatening the rights of property owners throughout the region. These rules will apply the "take" prohibitions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to salmon populations listed as "threatened." Included in the 4(d) rules is a provision giving individuals and special interest groups the right to file lawsuits against property owners for alleged violations of the ESA.
Potential impacts of the new federal rules could include lost jobs, higher energy and water bills, higher costs for new homes, caps on residential and commercial water use, the destruction of dams that produce clean energy and are a vital source of power in the Pacific Northwest, limits on agricultural irrigation, and new government regulation of construction and transportation costs.
"The prohibitions in the 4(d) rules threaten basic property rights and turn the entire Pacific Northwest into a fief of the Fisheries Service," said Oregon CSE Director Russ Walker. "What's worse, NMFS has virtually guaranteed that extremists will try to shut down farms and businesses with a flood of frivolous lawsuits."
The 4(d) rules are not only onerous, but unnecessary. Populations of salmon in the Pacific Northwest are surging to levels not seen in decades. However, NMFS refuses to count most of these fish because they do not meet the agency's misguided standards of biological purity. Walker noted, "If this bureaucracy would stop inventing reasons to ignore the millions of salmon returning to our rivers, there would be no justification for ESA listings at all."
"The only rule NMFS should be applying is just count every fish.
"Ignoring good science in order to pander to special interests is an unfortunate aspect of the Clinton-Gore legacy. A legacy we in the Pacific Northwest will have to live with."
CSE recruits, educates, trains and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes and more freedom. CSE believes individual liberty and the freedom to compete expand consumer choices and provide individuals with the greatest control over what they own and earn.