11 Mar 2010, 10:51am
Latest Wildlife News
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Critical Habitat Designated for Endangered 3-Inch Long Willamette Valley Fish

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News Release, March 10, 2010 [here]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated critical habitat for the Oregon chub, a small fish native to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) was listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1993.

The designation includes 25 units totaling 132 acres, including land under state, federal, other government and private ownership. As allowed under the ESA, all or portions of these units were considered but not selected for exclusion from the critical habitat designation. Exclusions could have been based on the relative costs and benefits of designating critical habitat, including information that was gathered during the public comment period on potential economic and other relevant impacts of the proposal. …

The economic analysis, prepared by Industrial Economics Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., estimated the additional cost of the proposed critical habitat designation would total $108,000 over 20 years. This cost is expected to be entirely the administrative costs of additional consultations required for critical habitat under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The total costs of Oregon chub conservation including consultation and other already-ongoing efforts is predicted to be between $2.74 million and $11.1 million over 20 years.

These impacts are low in comparison to the conservation costs for other species in the Pacific Northwest because the proposed critical habitat for the chub totals only 132.1 acres, mostly in small disconnected habitat units that are isolated from economic activity. Also, the long history of protection for the chub has created a baseline of ongoing conservation efforts. … [more]

Note: $11 million to “conserve” 132 acres for a minnow that is not actually endangered comes to $83,000 per acre. However, that is an underestimate of the true costs, since lawsuits and EAJA money have not been included. You tax dollars gone to waste.

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