Our permit is the Chinook management plan. Which, if you recall caused an uproar when a federal judge took then director Unsworth behind closed doors with the comanager treaty tribes and oversaw closed door meetings that produced a document which led many of us to demand Unsworth's firing. NOAA later rejected that plan as inadequate. Leaving the state in the same box riding the tribes Section 7 consultation.Maybe they will find departmental budget hits to be "motivational" to apply for our own permit.
Wouldn’t put the feds anywhere. The state is responsible for initiating the ESA consult. NOAA doesn’t ask the state if they want to. The feds can only respond. If the state doesn’t ask, the feds have nothing to do. The tribes can consult without WDFW. The tribes are allowing WDFW to ride their coattails.
I’m not saying I like it, but that’s the current system. And, even if WDFW initiated the ESA consult, they’d have to include discussion about all salmon take under their cumulative impacts analysis. That means tribal, bird predation, pinniped predation, orcas, etc. then NOAA would have to have to verify the accuracy of WDFW’s info and do their own analysis anyway. I’d guess a 2-3 yr process. It’s far from simple.