They don’t do anything to restore the salmon runs, but they show up for photos when the small run of salmon finally makes it past Stanley, Idaho.

View of the Idaho Mountain Express: photo-op environmentalism.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

5 Responses to Governor Otter and others: Photo-op environmentalism

  1. Alan Gregory says:

    Another public relations stunt. That’s all this was. And cheap publicity at that.

  2. Alan Gregory says:

    A follow-up note: In Senator Frank Church’s biography, by LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer, there is a wonderful photograph of the late senator, with spin rod in hand, fishing a high-mountain creek in central Idaho. Herein is the difference between today’s Idaho governor and a real honest-to-gawd conservationist of years past.

  3. Layton says:

    Give me a break!! Are you REALLY trying to say that ole Frank never staged a photo op??

  4. Frank Church’s family owned the ranch on Robinson Bar (on the Salmon River) now owned by Carole King.

    I’m sure he did plenty of fishing, including salmon; and there were a lot of salmon then.

  5. Alan Gregory says:

    Thanks for the follow-up note, Ralph. Sure, photo ops were part of running for political office then, but those that I remember weren’t done expressly as events themselves. Big difference. I’m a retired Air Force public affairs officer, so I know all about publicity events.


September 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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