[env-trinity] Eureka Times Standard June 3 2009

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Wed Jun 3 09:33:51 PDT 2009


Senate approves Wiggins' salmon bill


The Times-Standard-6/03/09





The state Senate voted 23-10 Monday to approve legislation by North Coast
Sen. Patricia Wiggins, D-Eureka, that aims to enhance efforts to save the
state's imperiled salmon and steelhead populations. 

 

Currently, the state Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is authorized to make
grants and loans for a variety of projects to improve coastal water quality,
improve fisheries, protect ocean ecosystems and similar purposes. These
projects are funded through the Ocean Protection Trust Fund, which is
largely supported by Proposition 84, and has about $45 million in
unallocated funds. 

 

Wiggins' bill, Senate Bill 539, would add projects to restore native salmon
and steelhead trout populations to the list of eligible uses of the Ocean
Protection Trust Fund. 

 

"For the second year in a row, California's oceans are closed to commercial
salmon fishing," Wiggins said while presenting the bill, according to a
press release. "This bill will give the OPC the clarity it needs to dedicate
existing funding to salmon restoration, and to coordinate with the state
Department of Fish and Game, the state and local water boards, the Coastal
Conservancy and others to concentrate before it is too late." 

 

Wiggins said that while the OPC has engaged in fisheries management issues,
it has not yet focused much attention on the collapse of California's salmon
which is not only a commercial disaster but indicative of a water-related
environmental disaster as well. 

 

A recent report by CalTrout, authored in part by Peter Moyle of U.C. Davis,
said that the state's native salmonids are in unprecedented decline, and are
teetering toward the brink of extinction, according to a release from
Wiggins' office. 

 

The report concluded that if present trends continue, 65 percent of native
salmon, steelhead and other trout species will be extinct within the next
century. 

 

With Senate approval, S.B. 539 is headed to the Assembly for consideration.

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

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(secondary)

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 

 

 

 

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