Idaho workgroup starts efforts on salmon, steelhead recovery

Source: Keith Ridler, Idaho Statesman, June 28

Idaho Gov. Brad Little told a salmon and steelhead recovery group Friday it should focus on achievable goals that can bolster the state’s struggling fish populations.

Little also told the nearly two dozen environmentalists, ranchers, recreationists, power company and state officials at their first meeting that it will help define the state’s position on federal efforts to save salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

Billions of dollars have been spent in Idaho, Oregon and Washington to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act. Four of those species are in Idaho.

“I just feel strongly that helping salmon thrive and fostering a strong Idaho economy produces good jobs,” Little said. “Those two things are not mutually exclusive.”

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