Bush Salmon Decision Irritates Both Enviros and Property-Rights Backers

There’s a flurry of news today about salmon, which are getting more press of late than the Olsen twins. On the left coast, federal officials announced today that not only will all wild West Coast salmon species retain their protected status under the Endangered Species Act, but that status will be extended to another Columbia River stock. At the same time, they argued that hatchery salmon can play an important role in restoring salmon stocks, a point that many biologists vehemently dispute. The announcement — which capped a month of backpedaling after an early draft of the policy was leaked and set off a firestorm of criticism — failed to satisfy either property-rights advocates, who want several species de-listed, or enviros, who believe that hatchery salmon harm wild stocks more than they help. On the right coast, the U.S. EPA announced yesterday that salmon raised in federal hatcheries on the East Coast contain levels of dioxin and other pollutants high enough that anglers should eat no more than half a serving per month.