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Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act
This bill amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue one-year permits allowing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe to kill sea lions in a portion of the Columbia River or certain tributaries in order to protect fish from sea lion predation. Permits may be issued to kill sea lions only if the sea lions are part of a population that is not depleted.
The permits may authorize the lethal taking of 100 sea lions or fewer. The cumulative annual taking of sea lions each year under all such permits is limited to 10% of the annual potential biological removal level.
Permit holders must be trained in natural resource management.
These permits are exempted from environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for five years.
NOAA may suspend the issuance of the permits if, after five years, lethal removal authority is no longer necessary to protect fish from sea lion predation.
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To allow for the taking of pinnipeds on the Columbia River and its tributaries to protect endangered and threatened species of salmon and other nonlisted fish species.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the “Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act”.
It is the sense of the Congress that—
(1) prevention of predation by sea lions, recovery of salmonid stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and prevention of the future listings of fish stocks in the Columbia River under such Act are a vital priority; and
(2) the Federal Government should continue to fund lethal and nonlethal removal of sea lions as well as deterrence measures for preventing such predation.
Section 120(f) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1389(f)) is amended to read as follows:
“(1) REMOVAL AUTHORITY.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Secretary may issue a permit to an eligible entity to authorize the intentional lethal taking on the waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries of individually identifiable sea lions that are part of a population or stock that is not categorized under this Act as depleted or strategic for the purpose of protecting—
“(A) species of salmon, steelhead, or eulachon that are listed as endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); and
“(B) species of lamprey or sturgeon that are not listed as endangered or threatened but are listed as a species of concern.
“(A) IN GENERAL.—An eligible entity may apply to the Secretary for a permit under this subsection.
“(B) DEADLINE FOR CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATION.—The timelines and procedures described in subsection (c) shall apply to applications for permits under this subsection in the same manner such timelines apply to applications under subsection (b).
“(C) COORDINATION.—The Secretary shall establish procedures for coordination among eligible entities, including application procedures and timelines, geographic and species-specific considerations, and monitoring and periodic review.
“(D) DURATION OF PERMIT.—A permit under this subsection shall be effective for not more than 5 years and may be renewed by the Secretary.
“(3) LIMITATIONS ON ANNUAL TAKINGS.—The process for determining limitations on annual take of sea lions will follow the process established in subsection (c) and the cumulative number of sea lions authorized to be taken each year under all permits in effect under this subsection shall not exceed 10 percent of the annual potential biological removal level for sea lions.
“(4) QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS.—Intentional lethal takings under this subsection shall be humane and shall be implemented by agencies or qualified individuals described in subsection (c)(4), or by individuals employed by the eligible entities described in paragraph (6).
“(5) SUSPENSION OF PERMITTING AUTHORITY.—If, 5 years after the date of the enactment of the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, the Secretary, after consulting with State and tribal fishery managers, determines that lethal removal authority is no longer necessary to protect salmonid and other fish species from sea lion predation, the Secretary shall suspend the issuance of permits under this subsection.
“(I) with respect to removal in the mainstem of the Columbia River and its tributaries, the State of Washington, the State of Oregon, and the State of Idaho;
“(II) with respect to removal in the mainstem of the Columbia River and its tributaries, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission; and
“(ii) DELEGATION AUTHORITY.—The Secretary may allow an eligible entity described in clause (i)(I) or (i)(II) to delegate its authority under a permit under this subsection to any eligible entity described in clause (i)(I) or (i)(II).
“(I) the State of Washington may enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for deterrence and removal of sea lions on the Cowlitz River.
“(II) the State of Oregon may enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon for deterrence and removal of sea lions on the Willamette River.
“(ii) CONSIDERATIONS.—In determining eligibility under this subparagraph, the Secretary shall consider the capacity of each Indian tribe to manage wildlife to meet the requirements of this Act.
“(7) INDIVIDUAL EXCEPTION.—For purposes of this section, any sea lion located upstream of Columbia River river mile 112, or in any tributary to the Columbia River that includes spawning habitat of threatened or endangered salmon or steelhead is deemed to be individually identifiable.
“(8) SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT EXCEPTION.—For purposes of this section, any sea lion located in the mainstem of the Columbia River upstream of river mile 112, or in any tributary to the Columbia River that includes spawning habitat of threatened or endangered salmon or steelhead is deemed to be having a significant negative impact on the decline or recovery of salmonid fishery stocks described in subsection (b)(1).
“(9) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term ‘Indian tribe’ has the meaning given such term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).”.
Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act shall be construed to affect or modify any treaty or other right of an Indian Tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)).
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall study and report to the Congress on the potential effects of the lethal taking of sea lions on the recovery of salmonid stocks in the waters of the Columbia River and the tributaries of the Columbia River.
Passed the House of Representatives June 26, 2018.
|Attest:||karen l. haas,|