Final Bull Trout Critical Habitat Designation (September 30, 2010)
On September 30, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for bull trout throughout their U.S. range.
Approximately 18,795 miles of streams and 488,252 acres of lakes and reservoirs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Nevada were designated as critical habitat for the wide-ranging fish. In Washington, 754 miles of marine shoreline also were designated.
This designation was the result of an extensive review of the Service’s previous bull trout critical habitat proposals and designation, as well as comments and new information received during the 2010 public review process. In all, the Service received 1,111 comments from 350 people or organizations across the five states where bull trout occur. Nine public information meetings were held throughout the Service’s Pacific Region, and a formal public hearing was held in Boise, Idaho.
The designation, developed by a team of federal scientists with input from peers outside the agency, is intended to provide sufficient habitat to allow for genetic and life history diversity, ensure bull trout are well distributed across representative habitats, ensure sufficient connectivity among populations and allow for the ability to address threats facing the species.
If we take steps now to protect the good habitat that’s left and restore what’s degraded, we’ll not only save and recover bull trout and other salmonids. We’ll be helping ourselves and leaving a legacy we can be proud of to future generations.