Washington wants 9th Circuit to take up treaty fishing case

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear a treaty fishing rights case.

In April, Judge Ricardo Martinez ordered the state to fix culverts that prevent salmon from returning to tribal usual and accustomed fishing places. He said the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott creates an obligation for the state to protect salmon habitat.

The cost to fix the culverts has been put at $2.4 billion. But Ferguson said there are other issues that need to be resolved by the 9th Circuit.

"The state remains committed to addressing fish passage barriers and will continue to do so as resources permit. The implications of the case, however, stretch beyond culverts. Issues of this magnitude deserve full and thoughtful appellate review," Ferguson said in a press release.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, US v. Washington.

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Washington attorney general appeals culvert ruling (AP 5/28)

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