For years, CCA Oregon has highlighted the growing threat unnatural sea lion predation poses to Columbia River basin wild salmon and steelhead populations. We've worked in Salem to get increased funding for ODFW to document and undertake measures to disrupt the alaming predation levels around Willamette Falls. Understanding that these limited measures would be inadequate to reverse the problem, we've continually supported Congressional legislation to give ODFW, WDFW, and the Columbia River tribes new streamlined authorities to remove problem sea lions under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
In August, ODFW released its analysis confirming what we've been saying: without prompt action species will go extinct. In fact, the analysis shows that unless action is taken to reduce predation in the Willamette River there's a 90% chance that wild Willamette River winter steelhead populations will go extinct.
Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) have been leading on the issue in the U.S. House and re-introduced the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Act (H.R. 2083). Similar legislation has finally been introduced in the Senate (S. 1702 - Sen. Risch - R-Idaho).
As a national organization with registered federal lobbyists, CCA has been engaged with key Congressional offices and Committee staff to move the bills forward. We are encouraged that a legislative solution may finally get traction in the U.S. Senate. CCA's lobbyists have decades of experience in Washington, D.C., including one who served as Counsel to the key Committee in the Senate with oversight over the MMPA.
You can help our efforts by clicking here to urge your two U.S. Senators to support this legislative effort.