Text: S.1702 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (08/02/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1702 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1702

 To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to reduce predation 
by sea lions on endangered Columbia River salmon and other species not 
    listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             August 2, 2017

   Mr. Risch introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
   referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to reduce predation 
by sea lions on endangered Columbia River salmon and other species not 
    listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Endangered Salmon and Fisheries 
Predation Prevention Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) There are 13 groups of salmon and steelhead that are 
        listed as threatened species or endangered species under the 
        Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) that 
        migrate through the lower Columbia River. All lower Columbia 
        River tributaries contain listed species, including Chinook, 
        Chum, and Coho salmon and winter-run steelhead.
            (2) The people of the Northwest of the United States are 
        united in their desire to restore healthy salmon and steelhead 
        runs because the fish are integral to the culture and economy 
        of the region.
            (3) The Columbia River Treaty tribes retain important 
        rights with respect to salmon and steelhead.
            (4) Federal, State, and tribal governments have spent 
        billions of dollars to assist the recovery of salmon and 
        steelhead populations in the Columbia River basin.
            (5) One of the factors that negatively impacts salmonid 
        populations is increased predation by marine mammals, including 
        California sea lions.
            (6) As of June 2017, the population of California sea lions 
        has increased 10-fold during the last 30 years, and is 
        approximately 300,000 animals.
            (7) Biologists estimate that in recent years, during the 
        peak spring salmonid run, as many as 3,000 California sea lions 
        have been foraging in the lower 145 miles of the Columbia River 
        to the Bonneville Dam.
            (8) Historically, California sea lions, the habitat of 
        which is fundamentally salt water, did not venture very far up 
        into the Columbia River.
            (9) The percentage of the spring salmonid run that has been 
        eaten or killed by California sea lions at the Bonneville Dam 
        has increased 7-fold since 2002.
            (10) The Columbia River spring chinook and the Willamette 
        River steelhead are salmonid species that are listed under the 
        Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) as an 
        endangered species and a threatened species, respectively.
            (11) Federal, State and tribal estimates indicate that sea 
        lions are consuming at least 20 percent of the Columbia River 
        spring chinook run and 15 percent of Willamette River steelhead 
        run.
            (12) In recent years, California sea lions have congregated 
        with greater frequency near Willamette Falls and the Bonneville 
        Dam on the Columbia River and have entered the fish ladders 
        that salmon use to return to the historical and biological 
        spawning grounds of the salmon.
            (13) These California sea lions have not been responsive to 
        extensive hazing methods used to discourage predation.
            (14) The process established under the Marine Mammal 
        Protection Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-238; 108 
        Stat. 532) to address predatory sea lion behavior that 
        negatively impacts threatened or endangered salmon runs is 
        protracted and has not been successful.
            (15) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
        has observed that--
                    (A) management efforts to reduce pinniped predation 
                of endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in 
                the area around the Bonneville Dam has been 
                insufficient to reduce the severity of the threat; and
                    (B) efforts need to focus more on the lower 
                Columbia River and the area around Willamette Falls.
            (16) In the interest of protecting threatened and 
        endangered salmonids in the Columbia River, a temporary 
        expedited procedure is urgently needed to allow removal of the 
        minimum number of California sea lions as is necessary to 
        protect the passage of the threatened and endangered salmonids 
        in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the prevention of predation by sea lions on salmonids 
        in the Columbia River, the recovery of salmonid species listed 
        as threatened species or endangered species under the 
        Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and 
        the prevention of future listings of fish species in the 
        Columbia River under that Act are vital priorities; and
            (2) the Federal Government should continue to fund lethal 
        and nonlethal removal measures to prevent such predation.

SEC. 4. TAKING OF SEA LIONS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES 
              TO PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES AND THREATENED SPECIES OF 
              SALMON AND OTHER NONLISTED FISH SPECIES.

    Section 120(f) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 
U.S.C. 1389(f)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(f) Temporary Marine Mammal Removal Authority on the Columbia 
River and Its Tributaries.--
            ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Eligible entity.--The term `eligible entity' 
                means--
                            ``(i) the State of Washington;
                            ``(ii) the State of Oregon;
                            ``(iii) the State of Idaho;
                            ``(iv) the Nez Perce Tribe;
                            ``(v) the Confederated Tribes of the 
                        Umatilla Indian Reservation;
                            ``(vi) the Confederated Tribes of the Warm 
                        Springs Reservation of Oregon;
                            ``(vii) the Confederated Tribes and Bands 
                        of the Yakama Nation;
                            ``(viii) the Columbia River Inter-Tribal 
                        Fish Commission; and
                            ``(ix) the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
                    ``(B) Individually identifiable.--With respect to a 
                pinniped, the term `individually identifiable' means 
                any pinniped located--
                            ``(i) upstream of river mile 112 of the 
                        Columbia River; or
                            ``(ii) in any tributary that contains 
                        spawning habitat of threatened or endangered 
                        salmon or steelhead.
            ``(2) 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 of 
        individually identifiable sea lions that are part of a 
        population that is not depleted, on the Columbia River and its 
        tributaries for the purpose of protecting species of salmon 
        that are listed as endangered species or threatened species 
        under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
        seq.) and other fish species that are not listed as threatened 
        species or endangered species under that Act.
            ``(3) Permit process.--
                    ``(A) In general.--An eligible entity may apply to 
                the Secretary for a permit under this subsection.
                    ``(B) Deadline for consideration of application.--
                Not later than 30 days after the Secretary receives an 
                application for a permit under subparagraph (A), the 
                Secretary shall approve or deny the application for a 
                permit under this subsection.
                    ``(C) Duration of permit.--A permit issued under 
                this subsection--
                            ``(i) shall be effective for not more than 
                        1 year after the date on which the permit is 
                        issued; and
                            ``(ii) may be renewed by the Secretary.
            ``(4) Limitations.--
                    ``(A) Limitation on permit authority.--Subject to 
                subparagraph (B), a permit issued under this subsection 
                shall not authorize the lethal taking of more than 100 
                sea lions during the permit period.
                    ``(B) Limitation on annual takings.--The cumulative 
                number of sea lions authorized to be taken each 
                calendar year under all permits in effect under this 
                subsection shall not exceed 10 percent of the annual 
                potential biological removal level.
            ``(5) Training in natural resources management.--Each 
        permit holder that exercises lethal removal authority pursuant 
        to this subsection shall be trained in natural resource 
        management.
            ``(6) Delegation of permit authority.--An eligible entity 
        may delegate to any other eligible entity the authority to 
        administer a permit under this subsection.
            ``(7) NEPA.--Section 102(2)(C) of the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)) shall 
        not apply with respect to this subsection and the issuance of 
        any permit under this subsection during the 5-year period 
        beginning on the date of the enactment of the Endangered Salmon 
        and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act.
            ``(8) Suspension of permitting authority.--The Secretary 
        may suspend the issuance of permits under this subsection if, 
        within 5 years after the date of the enactment of the 
        Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, after 
        consultation with State and tribal fishery managers, the 
        Secretary determines that lethal removal authority is no longer 
        necessary to protect salmonid and other fish species from sea 
        lion predation.''.

SEC. 5. TREATY RIGHTS OF INDIAN TRIBES.

    Nothing in this Act or the amendment made by this Act affects or 
modifies any treaty or any other right of any Indian tribe (as defined 
in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance 
Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)).
                                 <all>

Share This