May 08, 2004

Something's fishy

Well now. Back here I called attention to the Administration's decision to count hatchery fish as the same as wild for the purpose of eliminating the need to regulate salmon fisheries under the Endangered Species Act. Now comes word that the guy who three years ago

...was the timber industry's top lawyer trying to overturn fish and wildlife protections that loggers viewed as overly restrictive [now works for the Administration]. Back then, he outlined to his clients a new strategy for dealing with diminishing salmon runs. By counting hatchery fish along with wild salmon, the government would help the timber industry by getting salmon off the endangered species list, Mr. Rutzick wrote.

Now, as a high-ranking political appointee in the Bush administration who is a legal adviser to the National Marine Fisheries Service, Mr. Rutzick is helping to shape government policy on endangered Pacific salmon. And in an abrupt change, the Bush administration has decided for the first time to consider counting fish raised in hatcheries when determining if some species are going extinct.

The new plan, which officials have said is expected to be formally announced at the end of the month, closely follows the position that Mr. Rutzick advocated when he represented the timber industry.

Should we infer something from this? Or is it a mere coincidence? I link, you decide.

Posted by Linkmeister at May 8, 2004 10:16 PM