Sep 2, 2016

Major victory for environmentalists and fisherman in lawsuit settlement against U.S. Forest Service


The U.S. Forest Service promised to create new boundaries and protections for two federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in Northern California.
     The settlement ends a lawsuit from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and North Coast Rivers Alliance.
     They claimed in November 2015 that the Mendocino National Forest was six years overdue to create boundaries and a resource management plan for the Black Butte River and its tributary, Cold Creek.
     Their attorney Stephan Volker called the settlement a major victory for environmentalists, fishermen and the threatened species that live in and around the watershed.
     "These streams are extraordinarily important for the survival of Chinook salmon and river steelhead," Volker said. "Their designation by Congress confirmed the importance of protecting their watershed."
     Congress designated 16 miles of Black Butte as a wild river and 3.5 miles as a scenic river in 2006, triggering a three-year deadline for the Forest Service to establish boundaries and a management plan.
     Under the Aug. 26 agreement, the Forest Service must implement the new boundaries and resource management plan within two years.

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