8/28/2006--San Juan Island, WA, USA...Kenneth Balcomb, 65, of the Center for Whale Research, talks with officers from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife off the shores of the San Juan Island. Balcomb started the Orca Survey in 1976 and has been the Executive Director and Research Biologist for the Center for Whale Research since 1985...The federal govt is talking about dramatic protection for endangered killer whales in Puget Sound, enraging business interests in a fast-growing region of the Pacific NW. A specific orca population - about 90 orcas who feed exclusively on Puget Sound salmon - was added to the Endangered Species List in 2005. Now the National Marine Fisheries Service wants to designate 2,500 sq miles of inland waters - half of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, waters around the San Juan Islands (playground for Seattle?s rich) and most of Puget Sound - as "critical habitat" worthy of environmental restrictions. Developers and farmers (and a conservative land-rights group) have sued to block the plan, while environmentalists say it doesn't go far enough...Assignment ID: 30028811A.Slug: orca...Photograph By Stuart Isett.All photographs ©2006 Stuart Isett.All rights reserved.