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November 09, 2001
Contact: Tim Waters, (360) 902-2262

WDFW MEDIA ADVISORY: Statement by Dr. Jeff Koenings, Director, Nov. 9, 2001

Statement by Dr. Jeff Koenings, Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), regarding the National Marine Fisheries Service decision not to appeal the Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans decision by Federal District Court Judge Michael Hogan:

"The decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service not to appeal the Hogan ruling does not, at this time, alter efforts underway to recover listed salmon runs in Washington state. Judge Hogan's ruling dealt only with Oregon coastal coho, and did not pertain to salmon species in Washington state listed under the Endangered Species Act. Protections for these species remain in effect, and this agency's recovery efforts will continue uninterrupted. At the same time, WDFW welcomes a public review by NMFS of its salmon hatchery policies – particularly those relative to excluding hatchery fish as non-essential for recovery – and expects WDFW scientists to play an integral role in that review process along with others. Such a review may bring clarity to issues raised in the Alsea Valley Alliance lawsuit, and provide additional guidance as we move forward with a collaborative, ecosytem approach to salmon recovery."