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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

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Action timeline

1997 – Numerous West Coast coho salmon and steelhead populations were listed under the Endangered Species Act, but the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to designate critical habitat or issue protective regulations for listed populations; so the Center organized a coalition of conservation and fishing groups to improve legal protections for these fish and the streams essential to their survival and recovery.

1999 – The Center and other conservation groups sued the Fisheries Service to secure a designation of critical habitat for West Coast steelhead and salmon populations and to force protective regulations to prevent illegal “take” of steelhead and salmon.

July 22, 1999 – The Center and the Environmental Protection Information Center filed a lawsuit challenging government approval of instream gravel mining operations in Humboldt County, California that would kill coho salmon.

February 16, 2000 – The Fisheries Service designated critical habitat for 19 West Coast salmonid populations.

July 10, 2000 – The Service published protective regulations for listed West Coast salmon and steelhead populations.

April 2002 – After the Bush administration colluded with development interests to withdraw salmon and steelhead critical habitat protections, the Center and a coalition of environmental and fishing groups brought a lawsuit to force the Fisheries Service to reestablish the habitat protections.

May 1, 2002 – As a result of a lawsuit by the Center and fishing and environmental groups, Endangered Species Act protections for Southern California steelhead were extended into important trout streams in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

March 31, 2003 – The Center and a coalition of conservation and fishing organizations intervened to stop a lawsuit by a group of irrigation districts trying to strip federal protections from wild steelhead in California's Central Valley.

December 10, 2004 – The Fisheries Service agreed to reestablish west coast salmon and steelhead habitat protections.

August 15, 2005 – The Fisheries Service re-designated critical habitat for 19 West Coast populations of salmon and steelhead, but cut protected areas by 80 percent and excluded important floodplain forest habitats and former habitat areas above dams.

June 24, 2009 – The Center opposed California timber-harvest regulations that would continue harmful logging adjacent to critical salmon streams, prevent recovery of key salmon watersheds, and essentially guarantee the extinction of coho salmon in California.

July 16, 2009 – The Center and a coalition of conservation and fisheries groups won a repeal of a Bush-era plan that would have nearly quadrupled clear-cut logging of salmon habitat on public forests in western Oregon.

September 2, 2009 – The Center and a coalition of conservation and fishing organizations opposed legislation to construct an environmentally destructive peripheral canal and fund new dams that could devastate the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta ecosystem and its salmon runs.

November 17, 2009 – The Center, Northern California River Watch and Coast Action Group sent notice of intent to sue over excessive water diversions by vineyards for frost protection that continued to kill protected salmon and steelhead in the Russian and Gualala River watersheds.

January 20, 2010 – The California State Water Resources Control Board announced it would finally regulate frost protection water pumping by vineyards in the Russian River watershed.

June 3, 2010 – The Center filed suit to block a secret backroom deal and water grab by Central Valley agribusiness that would allow massive diversions of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

June 21, 2010 – The Center and a coalition of fishing and conservation groups challenged an Oregon Board of Forestry decision to increase logging and approve intensive clear-cutting likely to hurt salmon habitat.

July 21, 2010 – The Center helped a coalition of San Francisco Bay Area conservation groups put pressure on Stanford University to consider removing Searsville Dam, an obsolete structure that has blocked steelhead migration in the San Francisquito Creek watershed for more than a century.

December 30, 2010 – A Center lawsuit halted livestock grazing harmful to endangered steelhead trout on more than a quarter-million acres of public land on the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon.

January 27, 2011 – The Center, Oregon Wild, Environmental Protection Information Center and The Larch Company petitioned for federal Endangered Species Act protection for chinook salmon in the upper Klamath River basin.

April 11, 2011 – The National Marine Fisheries Service determined that upper Klamath River chinook salmon may warrant protection under the federal Endangered Species Act and initiated a status review.

May 16, 2011 – The Center helped blow the whistle on the killing of thousands of federally protected spring-run chinook salmon at the Central Valley Project water pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

June 20, 2011 – The Center filed a lawsuit challenging the implementation in California of an Army Corps of Engineers policy that would require stripping levees of vegetation that provides important habitat for salmon and other endangered species.

July 2011 – The Center fought a California Water Board permit that would allow a private rancher to withdraw excessive water each year from steelhead trout habitat in the Big Sur River.

July 27, 2011 – The Center helped win an extended California ban on harmful suction dredge mining that degrades salmon and steelhead habitat.

February 6, 2012 – The Center and conservation and fishing groups in Canada and the United States filed a formal petition requesting an international investigation into Canada’s failure to protect wild salmon in British Columbia from disease and parasites in industrial fish feedlots, seeking enforcement of Canada’s Fisheries Act.

November 18, 2013 – Salmon protection groups filed a lawsuit today against Marin County for adopting a flawed “streamside conservation ordinance,” lacking science-based measures to protect salmon streams and habitat, that would allow excessive development along streams that are critical to the survival of endangered coho salmon. The lawsuit asks that the ordinance be set aside until Marin County completes an environmental review, as required under the California Environmental Quality Act, and adequately protects salmon habitat in Marin from creekside development.

Salmon photo courtesy FlickrCommons/DaveBezaire & SusiHavens-Bezaire