PRESS RELEASE February 23, 2006
Sierra Club and
The Sierra Club and the
Huron Mountain Club today jointly petitioned the US Fish & Wildlife Service
to list the Coaster Brook Trout as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The Coaster, once prevalent in
(copies of the petition and a fact sheet will be available on the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter website later today)
of Peter Dykema, Representing the
confirm that the spectacular Coaster Brook Trout once spawned in literally
The Huron Mountain Club
and its members are proud that the Club's 116 years of stewardship of its
pristine lands and waters has saved the Michigan Coaster from extinction. At
the same time, we believe that the vulnerable condition of the surviving coaster
population gives us special responsibilities to do everything we can to protect
and improve the existing Coaster population. Those efforts will include
continued protection of the coaster's spawning and rearing habitat,
continued support for
Today we are, as an additional step, asking the United States Fish & Wildlife Service to give the Coaster the legal protection to which it is entitled under the Endangered Species Act. There are many forces that could, potentially, endanger the STR Coaster population, including stream sedimentation and competition from exotic salmonids such as Coho Salmon. But recently there has arisen a newer and more specific threat. Kennecott Mineral Company proposes to mine sulfide minerals directly underneath the headwaters of the STR, creating a risk of polluting the river with sulfuric acid and/or dissolved heavy metals that are highly toxic to all species of trout. With today's filing we are seeking to ensure that Kennecott's proposed mine, and all other activities in the STR watershed, will be evaluated by the relevant State and Federal authorities with due regard for the unique and invaluable environmental resources that the mine could impact -- in particular, the rare and extraordinary Coaster.
Peter Dykema is a member of the Board of the Huron Mountain Club.
of Marvin Roberson, representing the Sierra Club
The Endangered Species
Act has been proven over and over again to be one of the truly visionary acts
passed by Congress. We in
The Sierra Club has been a strong proponent of first, passing the ESA, and since then, maintaining it’s strong provisions for protections for endangered species. But long before the Endangered Species Act, the Huron Mountain Club was prescient of the need to conserve and protect fragile species, and in fact has done so with the Coaster Brook Trout.
This magnificent fish was
documented to have existed in over 105 streams feeding
The Sierra Club is proud
to partner with the Huron Mountain Club in the ongoing efforts to make sure
that the Coaster Brook Trout does not go the watery grave of the Michigan
Grayling, another wonderful fish which unfortunately is lost to us in
With the new threats from a potentially acid-generating mine at the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River, and with data now available as a result of new studies, the Sierra Club has determined that the Coasters need and deserve protection under the ESA, and we are pleased to join the Huron Mountain Club in this effort.
We urge the US Fish & Wildlife Service to act quickly on this petition.
Marvin Roberson is the Forest Policy Special for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter