Please accept these comments submitted on behalf of the Wild Fish Conservancy… (collectively, “Commenters”) on NMFS’ proposal to add 23 hatchery programs to salmon ESUs and steelhead DPSs currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. It is our view that the proposed addition of the 23 hatchery programs is unsupported by any evidence and inconsistent with best available scientific data. Therefore, a decision to include these programs in the lists of threatened or endangered ESUs and DPSs would be arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of NMFS’s discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the Endangered Species Act (‘ESA’)— including by failing to evaluate the listing criteria in ESA § 4(a)(1). Any decision made without undertaking consultation under ESA § 7(a)(2) and issuance of a biological opinion (‘BiOp’) and without compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (‘NEPA’) would also be a violation of law.

File Attachment