Colorado River Cutthroat Trout – Suit Aims for Protection

Yesterday, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the USFWS to seek protection for the Colorado River cutthroat under the Endangered Species Act. They claim that the USFWS dened the protection in 2007, it was based “on a flawed Bush-era policy that allowed the agency to look only at current range when considering whether the trout is endangered.” The CBD would like a more expansive interpretation used, reflecting the historical range of the fish. (See a pdf file containing the full suit here.) “The Center for Biological Diversity has been actively working to overturn Bush-era decisions limiting protection for endangered species, including suing to overturn decisions affecting 54 species. To date, this campaign has been highly successful, with the Obama administration agreeing to reconsider 45 of the 54 decisions.”

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4 comments for “Colorado River Cutthroat Trout – Suit Aims for Protection”

  1. I have been mulling this over all week since I heard about the suit. Having worked on the recovery program in Colorado for DOW I have been involved in the actual process and on the ground work trying to save these incredible fish. I have mixed feelings about a listing. A listing without the feds backing the recovery program with MASSIVE funding isn’t going to accomplish anything more than we have going on the ground now. I highly doubt the funds to accomplish anything would ever materialize. I could write a gigantic post about this but to keep it manageable, I lean towards opposing a listing. The states involved in the recovery effort have made some significant strides in the last 15 years. There have been some setbacks of course… I just don’t see listing as an actual solution. The reality is much of the historic range is not recoverable.

    Posted by wyoflyfish | November 29, 2009, 12:20 pm
    • Very interesting take on the impact (or lack thereof) because of the suit. You’ve got a good point, especially if so much of there historic range really isn’t salvageable. Are there enough current policies to keep the populations from diminishing more than they already are?

      Posted by Cutthroat Stalker (Scott) | November 29, 2009, 3:23 pm
  2. The conservation agreement between the states and the feds is a solid framework to bring back and conserve the species. All the documentation on it is available at:

    If they wanted to put more federal money towards restoration and conservation of the species, doing so within the confines of the current framework would be more fruitful that listing the species as current targets for recovery are well established. It is simply a matter of achieving the goals laid out in the agreement. Obviously, more federal dollars could accelerate things without alienating private landowners due to the crippling effects often delivered by listing.

    As an aside, if you look at the boundary map, I worked on the Upper White section. Ah, memories.

    Posted by wyoflyfish | November 29, 2009, 5:36 pm

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