Asian carp report key to battling species

We join a handful of lawmakers representing both parties in calling for the release of a federal report — considered key by stakeholders — that details how to proceed in the war against the aggressive Asian carp.

The report, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, was initially expected out in late February but was held up by a Great Lakes trade organization concerned its recommendations could potentially harm commerce. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow observed the February hold up coincided with criticism the Trump administration was then taking relative to a budget recommendation that all but eliminated Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.

Stabenow noted, following a Washington, D.C., meeting last week on the issue, that she doesn’t believe plans to battle the Asian carp, known to dominate habitats once they arrive, displacing native species, would harm shipping commerce on the Great Lakes.

“They’re going to have a major firestorm on their hands,” Stabenow told the Detroit Free Press in stories the newspaper published last week, adding that members of Congress were “incredulous” that the report — which has been in the works for years — would be held up indefinitely at the last minute. “If they want a big fight,” she said, “they’re going to get a big fight.”

The fish has been reported in waterways near the Great Lakes but not in the lakes themselves.

Whatever the holdup, the report should be released to Congress and people in Michigan — Department of Natural Resources officials come to mind but there are others — where it can be analyzed and potentially acted on.

From where we sit, this appears to be federal foot dragging, plain and simple.

— The Mining Journal, Marquette