On March 16, 1999, the Department of the Interior lists nine salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest as endangered species. They join 15 other population groups of salmon already so listed. The listing covers most of Washington state. Under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Federal Government has the authority to regulate what can and cannot be done on public and private land that will impact these species, including almost all large-scale construction and real estate development.
Listed as "threatened" were:
- Puget Sound Chinook
- Lower Columbia River Chinook
- Lake Ozette Sockeye
- Hood Canal Summer Chum
- Lower Columbia Chum
- Mid-Columbia Steelhead
- Upper Willamette River Chinook
- Upper Willamette River Steelhead
Listed as "endangered" were:
- Upper Columbia Spring Chinook
The listing affected three million residents of Washington and Oregon who lived in drainages that impact the habitats of the listed species. Seattle Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) stated, "There has never been a listing with such consequences in a metropolitan area. This tells us how we are doing, not just the salmon. What's needed to save the salmon is a culture change to address how we live, salmon are telling us."