“Salmon success recasts debate,” headline reads. . . an odd way of defining “success”-

BPA’s spin cloaks its role in blocking real salmon recovery. By Ed Chaney. Idaho Statesman

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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.

6 Responses to Bonneville Power Administration's disinformation on salmon recovery

  1. I tried to submit this to Statesman, but not sure it ever posted. Doesn’t look that way from here

    Thanks Ed for all your work on the behalf of Pacific salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin and your timely comments. Not only has BPA been forced to partially mitigate the losses to salmon and steelhead (NOT recovery), but so has the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and our Idaho Power. Recently, Idaho Power officials were blaming higher rates on salmon recovery costs. What is missing from the discussions are the facts concerning massive Federal subsidies for Northwest hydro-energy projects, dividends to share holders, and the forgotten fiasco by BPA when they gambled with energy futures and contracts with financial scam artists ENRON. It’s not all about salmon… but maybe it should be.

    Larry Zuckerman, Central Idaho Director, Western Watersheds Project, Salmon, Idaho – trying to keep salmon in Salmon

  2. Craig says:

    “In 1980, Congress reacted to the crisis of declining fish runs with what is commonly called the Northwest Power Act. Thanks to a handful of Idaho salmon advocates and Sen. Frank Church, the act mandated modifying the dams to restore salmon and steelhead to their pre-dam levels.”

    Does that mean Native levels or artificial levels with hatchery fish? Just curious what that meant in a legal way?

    • Ken Cole says:

      I’m not sure but I don’t think it really specifies. Unfortunately, hatchery fish comprise an ever larger and larger proportion of the Idaho runs and, as we have seen in recent years with sockeye salmon, large numbers of them can be killed off in one fell swoop because of a hatchery mishap.

      • Craig says:

        I do a lot of Steelhead/Salmon fishing on the Clearwater and yeah the fishing has become good, but notice fewer and fewer natives. My last rip after Thanksgiving I caught 23 only 1 Hen was a Native.

  3. Alan Gregory says:

    The debate in this instance is more a product of the media’s lazy thinking and “he said/she said” style of reporting than any resemblance to a real honest-to-gosh debate. Typical of many conservation issues. I wonder what Frank Church would say today?

    • mikarooni says:

      You couldn’t tell what Frank would say today because, if he had lived this long, he would have protected the salmon and would have his mouth full.


January 2011


‎"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