Judge tells Obama to keep dam breaching on the table

Dam breaching an option to protect salmon, a U.S. District judge says – Idaho Stateman

It’s looking like judges, relatively speaking,  are more apt to uphold the law and insist that the right thing be done, even when both parties feel it more politically prudent to try to wiggle around it.   Too bad we can’t voice our pleasure via a vote for a judge.  Good thing they don’t need it.

Read the Judge’s letter here



, ,




  1. Maska Avatar

    One of the main reasons judges are more apt to uphold the law (federal judges in particular) is the fact that the are appointed for life and do not have to stand for election. If they are chosen with some concern for intellectual honesty and respect for the law and the Constitution, no matter what their underlying ideology, they are more likely to follow the law, no matter where it leads, than are elected officials who are subject to all the pressures of getting re-elected, and especially, of raising huge sums of money for their campaigns. This, of course, was the whole point of creating an independent judiciary via life appointments–to insulate the judiciary from the shifting winds of politics.

  2. jdubya Avatar

    The comments on the end of the article are interesting as to how mis-informed the readers are about the supposed value of these dams to the farming communities. Years of mis-information from the local politicians has paid off with an ignorant local citizenry. Good thing judges can operate outside of that milieu.

  3. Ken Cole Avatar

    LA Times has a much better story.
    If salmon can’t be saved, Snake River dams may have to go
    LA Times

    I like Judge Redden’s quote: “Federal defendants have spent the better part of the last decade treading water, and avoiding their obligations under the Endangered Species Act. Only recently have they begun to commit the kind of financial and political capital necessary to save these threatened and endangered species, some of which are on the brink of extinction. We simply cannot afford to waste another decade,”

  4. Ryan Avatar

    These whole proceeding are such a crock of shit for lack of better terms. They indians took a buy off last year to drop their suit. Its been known for years that the best option is to restore snake river salmon is to remove the 4 lower dams. They creat very little power, there is an existing railroad grade to still allow for crop transport. They need to be breached if there is any hope for snake river salmon recovery.

  5. Ken Cole Avatar

    Not all of the tribes participated in the collaboration b.s. The Nez Perce have been standing tall in all of this.

  6. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Not only do those four dams need to be breached, Idaho Power needs to be held to their 50 year old promise to get salmon around their four Hells Canyon dams.
    We surely have the technology today to do more than the feeble trapping attempts that Idaho Power tried 50 years ago before giving up. Dumping salmon smolts from Hagerman hatcheries into the Snake River just below Hells Canyon dam and calling it mitigation, as Idaho Power does today, is not what they promised to do when they applied for the permit to construct those dams.

  7. Chuck Avatar

    Even if they remove the 4 lower snake river dams they can still barge stuff. They use to use Tug & barge on the Columbia river before there were any dams. Has anyone ever seen t he TBS special called “Sagebrush Sailors”, it was all about the tug and bage operations on the Columbia river before the dams, it was an awesome program.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Brian Ertz