BABBITT VISITS MAINE TO ENDORSE SALMON RECOVERY PLAN
Signs formal State Atlantic salmon conservation plan, announces decision not to list species
Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt came to Augusta, Maine on Monday, December 15, to formally endorse a State conservation management plan aimed at restoring Atlantic salmon populations -- and the freshwater quality -- in seven of the states key watersheds. Upon doing so, he withdrew a petition to place the species on the federal endangered species list.
In ceremonies starting at noon at the Statehouse Hall of Flags, Secretary Babbitt, Maine Governor Angus King, and other agency heads backed a State plan that will cooperatively reduce incidental take, improve spawning habitat, and help recover Atlantic salmon stocks swimming up the Sheepscot, Ducktrap, Pleasant, Machias, East Machias, Denny and Narragaugus Rivers.
The plan, which culminates 17 months work by the Governors Atlantic Salmon Task Force, addresses potential threats to the species from agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and recreation fishing, and outlines actions to reduce threats and promote recovery. It was pivotal in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and National Marine Fisheries Services joint determination of whether or not these stocks should be placed on the federal Endangered Species Act list.
We are unlocking the full potential of rivers in Maine, and opening a new chapter in conservation history, said Babbitt. The Governor showed great leadership in forging this public and private sector collaboration, which will enhance the ecology and economy of the state for years to come. The rivers will continue to attract anglers, boaters and other sportsmen who will help grow and sustain new jobs and revenue.