In an official press release, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild jointly announced that they have filed a formal notice of intent to take legal action against the National Marine Fishery Service, due to its lack of a recovery plan for the Oregon coast coho. The fish has been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 2008, but according to the organizations, the federal agency has not been able to come up with a concrete recovery plan to ensure the protection of the fish.
“The state of Oregon has done nothing to reform forest practices on either state or private lands that are crucial to the survival of these magnificent fish,” said Center for Biological Diversity endangered species director Noah Greenwald. “And the National Marine Fisheries Service should have put out a recovery plan years ago that lays out the state actions needed to save and recover coho.”
In the press release, the organizations said that recovery plans are the most useful tool when it comes to spotting areas for improvement and coming up with an action plan to save endangered species from going extinct. “Given the severity of threats to the coho’s habitat and that it remains at only 10 percent of its historic population, a recovery plan is critically important to its survival and eventual recovery,” the groups stated.
Quotes attributed to the Fisheries Service suggest that the agency is working on a recovery plan, and will be releasing a draft sometime in the fall; as such, a lawsuit would be unnecessary. Still, the press release also stated that the organizations aren’t willing to deal with “bureaucratic delay,” which, according to legal counsel Chris Winter, “should not stand in the way of meaningful habitat protection that salmon need so desperately.”