North­west grow­ers ask U.S. to void salmon pro­tec­tions

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By KEITH RIDLER Salmon

A group that rep­re­sents farm­ers is call­ing the costs of sav­ing im­per­iled salmon in the largest river sys­tem in the Pa­cific North­west un­sus­tain­able and is turn­ing to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to side­step en­dan­gered species laws.

The Columbia-Snake River Ir­ri­ga­tors As­so­ci­a­tion wants the gov­ern­ment to con­vene a Cabi­net-level com­mit­tee with the power to al­low ex­emp­tions to the En­dan­gered Species Act. Known as the “God squad” be­cause its de­ci­sions can lead to ex­tinc­tions of threat­ened wildlife, it has only gath­ered three times — the last 25 years ago dur­ing a con­tro­versy over spot­ted owl habi­tat in the North­west.

The ir­ri­ga­tors as­so­ci­a­tion is frus­trated with court rul­ings it says fa­vor fish over peo­ple, claim­ing the com­mit­tee could end years

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS 2016

A group that rep­re­sents farm­ers says sav­ing im­per­iled salmon in the largest river sys­tem in the North­west U.S. is too costly and is ask­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­vene a Cabi­net-level com­mit­tee to al­low ex­emp­tions to the En­dan­gered Species Act.

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