Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 2083

Letting Pacific Northwest States & Tribes Kill 100 More Sea Lions a Year to Protect Endangered Salmon

Argument in favor

California sea lion populations in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River system are growing as they feast on endangered salmon and steelhead. Giving states and tribes 100 more permits to kill sea lions from non-threatened populations will help improve the chances of those endangered fish surviving.

David 's Opinion
···
06/26/2018
I support this bill with reluctance. While the sea lion population needs management, there are 4 dams on the Columbia River that need to be removed and other steps that need to be taken to protect the salmon and steelhead population in the Columbia. This bill does not go far enough as it does not address those issues.
Like (68)
Follow
Share
burrkitty's Opinion
···
06/26/2018
EDIT: My initial reaction was wrong. Having read the scientific studies and the full text, Please vote IN FAVOR of this bill. The damns are still a issue, but this is actually carefully designed management. The summery here is really insufficient. Click the link and read that.
Like (16)
Follow
Share
···
06/26/2018
When reading this bill. I can't say I oppose much of it. I live in the PNW and the salmon population has been an issue since I can remember. I think this is more of a band-aid than a solution, but the solutions are coming... maybe some dam removals in the future? If we can mitigate until then I think its worth taking a look at.
Like (11)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

States and tribes already have sufficient means to lethally take sea lions, issuing more permits to kill them isn’t going to save endangered salmon and steelhead. Sea lion predation is a small part of salmon and steelhead mortality compared to the Columbia River dams and fishing pressure from humans.

singinghawk926's Opinion
···
06/26/2018
My problem with this bill can be found in the first sentence of the summary: “NOAA permits issued under this bill would be exempt from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for five years..”. I am opposed to any bill that eliminates established government oversight of the process or issue that the bill applies to!
Like (74)
Follow
Share
Bernard's Opinion
···
06/26/2018
This will open the door to weakening the Marine Mammal Protection act, which will be used as prescedent by the industrial fishing concerns and oil companies to weaken it further.
Like (21)
Follow
Share
Erin's Opinion
···
06/26/2018
No, simply because this law would be exempt from following environmental protection laws, and the EPA would have no ability to enforce environmental laws. Protect the environment, if it’s unprotected then the fish will not survive, and the hunting of sea lions will be for not.
Like (11)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed June 26th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 288 Yea / 116 Nay
      house Committees
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedApril 8th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 2083?

This bill would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue permits letting states and Indian tribes kill up to 100 sea lions in the Columbia River system per year that threaten endangered salmon and steelhead, among other fish species. Permits could only be issued if the sea lions are part of a population that isn’t depleted and would be valid for one year. Non-lethal means of sea lion deterrence, such as hazing and removal, have proven ineffective as sea lions’ presence in the Columbia River system (especially the dams' fish ladders) has grown and states have limited lethal removal authority.

NOAA permits issued under this bill would be exempt from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for five years. NOAA could suspend the issuance of permits if, after five years, lethal authority is no longer necessary to protect fish from sea lion predation. The bill would also set an annual cumulative limit for lethal takings of sea lions to 10 percent of the annual potential biological removal level.

Permits would have to be approved or denied within 30 days of an application being filed, and permit holders would have to be trained in natural resource management. Specifically, permits would be issued to the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho in addition to the following Indian tribes:

  • The Nez Perce Tribe;

  • The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation;

  • The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon;

  • The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation;

  • The Cowlitz Indian Tribe;

  • The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

Impact

Endangered salmon and steelhead; sea lions; states and specific Indian tribes; and NOAA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2083

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have a negligible impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced this bill to protect endangered salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River by letting states and Indian tribes kill up to 100 more sea lions from non-threatened populations per year:

“Our community prioritizes protecting salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River because they are central to our way of life in the Pacific Northwest. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act is critical because sea lion predation is posing a serious threat to our salmon populations, impacting our efforts to ensure their survival. With this solution, we have the tools to better protect the salmon so vital to our recreational, cultural and economic interests.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) added:

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a record number of California and Stellar sea lions in the Columbia River from Astoria to Bonneville Dam. These predators are present in numbers totally inconsistent with their historic range, and pose such a threat to salmon in the river that BPA ratepayers and my constituents pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually as part of the largest mitigation program in the country for threatened and endangered species. Even the National Marine Fisheries Service called the mortality of salmon returning to the Columbia River Basin that’s attributable to sea lions alarming. We need to eliminate this threat to our iconic Oregon salmon that are struggling to survive. I’ve been working with Rep. Herrera Beutler and our states, tribes, and local communities for several years now on solutions to save our salmon, and this legislation will provide the states and tribal managers the authority they need to eliminate this threat once and for all.”

Some House Democrats expressed opposition to this bill writing:

“H.R. 2083 targets the threat that fish face from predation by marine mammals, specifically California sea lions, but does not address far more significant factors impacting endangered salmonids and non-listed fish. Dams -- particularly deadbeat dams like the four on the lower Snake River that no longer provide any great benefit to society -- are the main factor. Habitat loss, fishing pressure, interactions with hatchery fish, climate change, pesticides, and predation by fish and wildlife other than sea lions also impact salmon runs. In reality, sea lion predation represents a very small proportion of total salmon mortality and the current lethal take authorization permitted under the MMPA is sufficient.”

This legislation passed the House Natural Resources Committee on a 21-14 vote and has the support of four cosponsors, including three Republicans and one Democrat.


Of NoteThe Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife writes the following about removing California sea lions from the the portion of the Columbia River system near Willamette Falls, where it says the situation has reached “a crisis point”:

“The California sea lion population along the West Coast is no longer considered at risk and has likely reached its “optimum sustainable population” with the current population of an estimated 250-300,000 individuals, up form < 75,000 individuals when the Marine Mammal Protection Act was adopted back in 1972. This means removing the relatively few sea lions necessary to reduce the immediate risk to salmon and steelhead at Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls will have no impact on the California sea lion population. ODFW pinniped biologists believe California sea lions are now expanding beyond their historic range, to include Willamette Falls, where the first documented sighting was in the 1950s. Of note, all of the sea lions that migrate north of California are males.”

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife added:

"Left unchecked, California sea lions could undermine the recovery of threatened and endangered Columbia River salmon and steelhead. For some stocks recovery efforts have been under way for decades, and funded with billions of dollars in public investment."

Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s press release states that consumption of salmon and steelhead by sea lions has grown nearly five-fold over the last four years from 1,402 fish in 2013 to 6,371 in 2016. 

WDFW notes that sea lions have been moving further up the Columbia River in increasing numbers since the early 1980's, from Astoria to the Cowlitz River area up to Bonneville Dam 145 miles from the river mouth. Some have even gone further to Drano Lake and McNary Pool. It's been estimated that there are about 3,000 California sea lions and about 1,000 Stellar sea lions in the lower Columbia River near Astoria.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act

Official Title

To allow for the taking of pinnipeds on the Columbia River and its tributaries to protect endangered and threatened species of salmon and other nonlisted fish species.

    I support this bill with reluctance. While the sea lion population needs management, there are 4 dams on the Columbia River that need to be removed and other steps that need to be taken to protect the salmon and steelhead population in the Columbia. This bill does not go far enough as it does not address those issues.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    My problem with this bill can be found in the first sentence of the summary: “NOAA permits issued under this bill would be exempt from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for five years..”. I am opposed to any bill that eliminates established government oversight of the process or issue that the bill applies to!
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    This will open the door to weakening the Marine Mammal Protection act, which will be used as prescedent by the industrial fishing concerns and oil companies to weaken it further.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    EDIT: My initial reaction was wrong. Having read the scientific studies and the full text, Please vote IN FAVOR of this bill. The damns are still a issue, but this is actually carefully designed management. The summery here is really insufficient. Click the link and read that.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Tribes only.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    No, simply because this law would be exempt from following environmental protection laws, and the EPA would have no ability to enforce environmental laws. Protect the environment, if it’s unprotected then the fish will not survive, and the hunting of sea lions will be for not.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    When reading this bill. I can't say I oppose much of it. I live in the PNW and the salmon population has been an issue since I can remember. I think this is more of a band-aid than a solution, but the solutions are coming... maybe some dam removals in the future? If we can mitigate until then I think its worth taking a look at.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    This needs to not happen. This is another attempt to curb environmental oversight.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Congresswoman Beutler’s bill is overlooking the obvious solution to the problem: Removal of the (4) obsolete dams. Issuing only 100 permits to the six tribes will only provide a small bandaid to problem.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    No agency that refuses science should be making regulations.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Mans involvement in nature has never been a positive thing despite intention.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    fix the problem, don’t just treat the symptom. deal with the dams first!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    California sea lion populations in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River system are growing as they feast on endangered salmon and steelhead. Giving states and tribes 100 more permits to kill sea lions from non-threatened populations will help improve the chances of those endangered fish surviving.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    H.R. 2083 Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act I support and recommend passage of the bill H.R. 2083 Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act which would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue permits letting states and Indian tribes kill up to 100 sea lions in the Columbia River system per year that threaten endangered salmon and steelhead, among other fish species. Permits could only be issued if the sea lions are part of a population that isn’t depleted and would be valid for one year. Non-lethal means of sea lion deterrence, such as hazing and removal, have proven ineffective as sea lions’ presence in the Columbia River system (especially near its dams) has grown and states have limited lethal removal authority. H.R. 2083 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. The bill would authorize the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and Specifically, permits would be issued in addition to the following Indian tribes: * The Nez Perce Tribe; * The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; * The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon; * The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; * The Cowlitz Indian Tribe; * The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. to use lethal force against sea lion predators that threaten important Northwest fish resources. California sea lion populations in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River system are growing as they feast on endangered salmon and steelhead. Giving states and tribes 100 more permits to kill sea lions from non-threatened populations will help improve the chances of those endangered fish surviving. 6*25*18 .....
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I’m with that! Then take the meat and blubber to feed all those homeless out there that the Dems can’t feed! If it’s ok for Eskimo’s to eat it’s ok for the homeless
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Too often we “humans” have imposed on the natural way of things, and look at the mess we have created. Carp, a fish which “scientists” introduced, is a major fishing issue for the mid-west and that problem is consistently growing. The stories are too massive to count. The salmon issue is a water quality issue. Humans are killing salmon at a more alarming rate than sea lions. How are we going to fix the human problem that created this mess?
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    We do not have enough information for yea or nay. To all you out there with your biased political agendas please seek out and watch the documentary titled “The Serengeti Rules”. You will become informed, enlightened, and hopeful regarding the planets future. Politicians and Government Bureaucrats are the problem not the solution!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Do you know the damage that would occur if you removed those dams? Of course you don’t. That would cause more environmental damage that would affect so many other animals and people all the way to the ocean.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Remove the following ”NOAA permits issued under this bill would be exempt from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for five years.”
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a case where the locals know their area and know best. Vote with them.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE