A ringing victory for salmon in the Ninth Circuit

Post 995

It must gall Kempthorne and Idaho’s water politicians, but the Ninth Circuit Court has upheld an earlier decision on salmon that could lead to the tearing down of the pork barrel salmon and steelhead-killing dams on the lower Snake River.

Significantly, “The court also called flawed the Bush administration’s standards that said Endangered Species Act protection does not need to meet goals that would recover salmon, but must only keep their numbers stable. ‘Under this approach, a listed species could be gradually destroyed, so long as each step on the path to destruction is sufficiently modest,’ ” [Judge] Thomas wrote for the court. ‘This type of slow slide into oblivion is one of the very ills the ESA seeks to prevent.’ ”

I think think these court interpretation of the ESA could doom many of the Bush Administration’s plans for endangered species.

Story. Appeals court: Federal dam plan is illegal. Salmon advocates say ruling should force agencies to consider removing lower Snake River dams. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman

Background. On the dams and the salmon, from Rocky Barkers book, Saving All the Parts: Reconciling Economics and the Endangered Species Act







  1. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Bring them down now. Without further delay. Too much has already been lost.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan