PORTLAND -- The federal agency in charge of saving salmon has hired two consensus-building groups to ask Northwest leaders what long-term steps should be taken to overcome persistent conflicts over restoring dwindling salmon and steelhead runs.

The Oregonian reported Thursday that NOAA Fisheries Service has hired the Oregon Consensus program at Portland State University and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center in Washington state to interview 150 people. Their initial report is due this summer.

Barry Thom, deputy regional administrator for the agency, says they are looking for a regional picture of what it people think it will take to bring about recovery for the fish.

States, Indian tribes, conservation groups, fishermen

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