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Cook Inlet beluga whale
KSRM, Radio Kenai, February 23, 2009

Borough Mayor Discusses Borough Strategy for Belugas
By Joe Nicks

Borough Mayor Dave Carey continues to emphasize the need for the local governments within the Cook Inlet region to pay very close attention to the listing of the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale on the Endangered Species Act.

Last week, he discussed this issue with the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of the Industry Support Alliance.

In his remarks, Mayor Carey stated that nobody is sure about the cause of the decline in Cook Inlet Beluga Whale numbers. He stated that he is committed to working with the mayors of the Mat-Su Borough and the Anchorage Borough to find a science-based mitigation plan that will protect the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale and remove it from the ESA. He said the state intends to fight the listing in court.

Carey said the Kenai Peninsula Borough doesn't have the money for a fight in court.

Carey said the federal government, not knowing the source of the population decline of the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale, has chosen to punish all of the Boroughs that surround the Cook Inlet, including the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton