Governor Kitzhaber praised today's announcement that the Oregon chub has been proposed for delisting under the Endangered Species Act. If authorized, it would be the first fish species ever removed from the endangered status list due to recovery, representing a huge success for a broad contingency of partners who worked together to return Oregon chub populations to healthy levels.
"I'm proud that the first fish species proposed to be delisted under the Endangered Species Act is an Oregon native," said Governor Kitzhaber. "This is a huge compliment to Oregonians and our history of conservation leadership, and an extraordinary testament to the power of collaboration between landowners and local, state, tribal, and federal agency representatives."
Oregon chub are small floodplain minnows that live in swamps, ponds, sloughs, and other river tributaries. Populations in the Willamette River were listed as endangered in 1993. Over the past 21 years, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State Parks, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde, local municipalities, private landowners, watershed councils, and nonprofit organizations have cooperated on strategies to acquire and restore habitat and improve population levels.
Following today's announcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has up to one year to determine whether the proposed delisting should become final. A 60-day public comment period will open on February 6, 2014, to allow the public to review and comment on the proposal.
The Governor thanked the many partners who made today's announcement possible. "The proposed delisting of the Oregon chub is the product of remarkable partnerships by committed people who have advanced Oregon's natural legacy while showing that economic health is not only possible but strengthened by efforts to recover and safeguard native fish and wildlife."