Legislative News

New Mexico Legislation to Remove State Protection of Endangered Species

According to an alert by the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity (Dec. 15, 1998), New Mexico State Senator Tim Jennings has announced that he will introduce legislation this session that would kill all state protection for endangered species. Jennings has proposed the elimination of the state's Wildlife Conservation Act that provides protection for 119 endangered or threatened species. HE also proposes to eliminate the state's Conservation Services Division that oversees all non-game programs.

Oregon Executive Order to Save Salmon

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed an executive order commiting all state agencies to helping save every salmon species in the state (Greenwire, 1/5). Although directly ordering government agencies to protect the state's dwindling salmon species is outside of Kitzhaber's legal authority, he can establish goals for agency directors to embrace. And department heads and legislative leaders say they will support the first-of-its-kind of plan. (Jonathan Brinckman, Portland Oregonian, 1/10)

Clinton Conservation Plan to Purchase Land

Pres. Clinton asked Congress to spend $1 billion in FY '00 to buy more land for national parks and other conservation projects, such as purchasing private holding within national forests and wildlife refugees (Greenwire, 1/12). In addition to expanding federal land purchases by $442 million, the initiative would give $588 million to state and local governments, private land trusts and other nonprofit groups to buy land and save endangered species and their habitat. And the proposal would create an automatic financing mechanism that would help guarantee a "steady flow" of funds for conservation.

NMFS Decides on Separate Listing of Columbia River Cutthroat Trout

Fishery managers are asking the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to separate Twin Harbor cutthroat trout from their lower Columbia River counterparts in an attempt to avoid a possible endangered species listing. The managers say the two species are separated geographically to the point that an interchange between stocks is "unlikely". And they note that there is not enough genetic information to conclude the stocks are similar. The NMFS is expected to make a decision on the proposal this month. (Neil Pascale, Aberdeen [WA] Daily World, 1/9).

Information for Legislative News is collected from Greenline, Greenwire and Wildness

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