Senate passes bill making it easier to kill sea lions

first_imgSEATTLE — A bill that would make it easier to kill sea lions that feast on imperiled salmon in the Columbia River has cleared the U.S. Senate.State wildlife managers say rebounding numbers of sea lions are eating more salmon than ever and their appetites are undermining billions of dollars of investments to restore endangered fish runs.Senate Bill 3119, which passed Thursday by unanimous consent, would streamline the process for Washington, Idaho, Oregon and several Pacific Northwest Native American tribes to capture and euthanize potentially hundreds of sea lions found in the river east of Portland.Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican who co-sponsored the bill with senators from all three states, said the legislation would help ensure healthy populations of salmon for years to come.“As endangered salmon face extinction, we must take steps to protect them,” Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, said in a statement.The Senate bill is similar to one passed by the U.S. House in June and sponsored by Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican, Kurt Schrader, an Oregon Democrat, and others.last_img

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