California Farmers Want Orcas Taken off Endangered-Species List

Posted: November 27, 2012  |  By: Lynda V. Mapes [Seattle Times]

California farmers want to take Puget Sound's killer whales off the endangered-species list, arguing they are not a separate population and that protecting the fish they eat is hurting business.

The listing of the animals as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2005 caused cutbacks in irrigation to protect fish, and that's made it harder to get loans from banks, pay help and expand their operations, argues a petition filed by Empresa de Bosque and Coburn Ranch. The two farms raise a variety of crops, from cherries to almonds, melons and tomatoes, using irrigation water from several California water districts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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