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Audubon Society threatens lawsuit over seabird killing plan

By The Oregonian
The Bulletin

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to kill 11,000 seabirds at the mouth of the Columbia River to help protect young salmon has drawn the threat of a lawsuit from the Audubon Society of Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to kill 11,000 seabirds at the mouth of the Columbia River to help protect young salmon has drawn the threat of a lawsuit from the Audubon Society of Portland.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/NYwTf2 ) that the corps on Friday released a plan that calls for shooting 11,000 double-crested cormorants and destroying 26,000 nests on East Sand Island. The agency contends the killing is necessary to reduce the birds' impact on endangered salmon smolts that swim past Sand Island on their way to the sea.

A corps spokesman says the agency expects to obtain U.S. Fish and Wildlife permits in time to begin the culling this spring. The Audubon Society says it will sue if those permits are approved.

Audubon conservation director Bob Sallinger contends the corps is blaming birds for the struggles facing endangered salmon while ignoring the Columbia River dams' larger contribution to salmon deaths.

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