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Final Environmental Assessment: Yankee Fork and Panther Creek Chinook Salmon hatchery programs, Upper Salmon River Basin
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    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is the lead agency responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as it relates to listed salmon and steelhead. Actions that may affect listed species are reviewed by NMFS under section 7, section 10, or section 4(d) of the ESA. Under section 4(d), the Secretary of the Interior issues regulations that are “necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species.” NMFS is considering making determinations under ESA section 4(d)—specifically, pursuant to the 4(d) rule for salmon and steelhead, specific criteria (under 50 CFR 223.203) must be met—for the approval, and continued operation and maintenance of 2 hatchery programs in the Snake River Basin in Idaho. Each program includes the collection and spawning of adult salmon, incubation of eggs, and rearing and release of juveniles (or eggs for two programs) as described in Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPS). As part of the 4(d) determination, an ESA section 7 consultation has been completed that affirmed that the programs as proposed would not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species, or adversely modify or destroy their designated critical habitat. Determinations under Section 4(d) have no expiration date. These programs are designed to enhance the propagation and survival of Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and may also impact Snake River steelhead (O. mykiss), and Snake River sockeye salmon (O. nerka).
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