Washington state has banned fish-farming with net pens in state waters, citing danger to struggling native salmon. Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz issued an executive order banning this aquaculture method. California, Oregon and Alaska have already outlawed net pens. In 2017, a net pen operated by Cooke Aquaculture collapsed, releasing 260,000 nonnative Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound. The Canadian company argued that the fish were sterile and would not threaten native salmon stocks; after the collapse, they transitioned to raising native steelhead. But many Native American tribes and environmental groups still objected, saying that raised fish spread disease to wild populations and degrade the environment.
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is moving a step closer to having a promise fulfilled from nearly 200 years ago that a delegate from the tribe be seated in Congress. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin was among those who testified before the U.S. House Rules Committee on Wednesday. The panel is examining the prospect of seating a Cherokee delegate in the U.S. House. Hoskin put the effort in motion in 2019 when he nominated Kimberly Teehee, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, to the position. The tribe’s governing council then unanimously approved her.