Lawmakers from states and Canadian provinces throughout the Northwest are sending a sharply worded letter to the U.S. secretary of the interior and the Canadian minister of fisheries and oceans, seeking much more aggressive measures to contain quagga and zebra mussels once they’ve invaded an area waterway. The letter, from the Pacific Northwest Economic Region group, calls it “absolutely critical” that federal authorities move to contain and decontaminate boats as they leave Lake Mead in Nevada and other infested water bodies. It follows a similar letter sent by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a month ago.
“Mr. Secretary, please seriously consider instituting within all U.S. Department of Interior agencies, including the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a mandatory decontamination requirement for ALL vessels leaving mussel-infested waters such as Lake Mead,” Otter wrote. Otter’s office said he’s not yet received a reply. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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