Citizens Slam Decision on Salmon-Killing Terns

Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation today denounced a decision by U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein that would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service from removing salmon-killing birds from Rice Island in the Columbia River. The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of extreme environmental special interest groups.

“This is a total abdication of common sense,” said Russ Walker, director of Oregon CSE Foundation. “These terns kill an estimated 11.7 million salmon per year, many of which are on the Endangered Species List. The federal government that threatens our economy with the Endangered Species Act is now telling us we can’t take one of the most effective actions possible to help fish.’

Rice Island was created from material dredged out of the Columbia and was never native habitat for terns. The federal agencies had planned to move the birds to East Sand Island where they would eat far fewer salmon. No harm would have been done to the terns, and millions of juvenile salmon would have been saved.

“This is yet another example of how extreme environmental groups don’t really care about the environment at all, they just want to file lawsuits and make life difficult for people,” said Gary Strannigan, director of Washington CSE Foundation. “This is a huge setback not just for the people of the Pacific Northwest, but also for our salmon.”

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