Federal judge rejects federal salmon plan once again as he did with Obama’s predecessors-

The judge said Obama’s plan sucks too, and he raises the specter of breaching the pork barrel dams on the lower Snake River (in Washington State). This judicial fight has gone on for a decade. Redden plays the game carefully, however. He keeps enough pressure on each Administration that they do some lesser things to advance recovery salmon, but not enough that our bought out Congress rises up and tries to stop the recovery.

The new chair of the House Natural Resources Committee is Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington. Hastings is no doctor, but rather a “go fer” boy for the Koch Brothers and others like them. His top contributor in the 2010 election cycle was Big Oil.

The end result is the salmon recovery continues at a slow pace. The next defective plan 🙁 is supposed to be produced in 2014.

A cynical final word . . . the dams will probably come down from lack of maintenance after the collapse of the American economy.

Rocky Barker takes a jaundiced look at the decision in historical context. Feds still on losing side of salmon case. Dam breaching remains an option — but no closer to reality — after more than a decade of litigation. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Judge Redden rules against Obama’s salmon recovery plan

  1. avatar jdubya says:

    “”U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House natural resources committee, said in a statement that the ruling included “extremely alarming and unacceptable statements and actions by the Portland federal judge.”
    Hastings objected in particular to Redden raising dam removal, “an extreme action that would be devastating to the Pacific Northwest’s economy and is not proven to recover fish.” “”

    This is simply a lie. It is amazing how politicians can lie and lie and lie and get away with it.

    It is so obvious….you build, you kill the fish run. You tear the dam down, and you allow the fish run to re-establish itself. This is going on RIGHT NOW as dams in Oregon, Calif and Wash are coming down and runs runs are coming back. Hastings is a fool with power.

  2. avatar Tom Page says:

    Ralph –

    Your comments on Redden are right on, I think.

    It’s worth remembering how long it took to get the Elwha project to where it is now…that started during the Reagan administration. The Elwha is a relatively simple system, with good habitat upstream in the park.

    The Columbia is incredibly complicated in just about every way possible. To expect the dams to be breached only sixty years after construction is unrealistic. However, I think it is realistic to expect increased flow releases, especially now that we’ve seen the positive effects from the spill (which is thankfully now permanent). The Colorado River system saw a negotiated agreement twentysome years ago for flow releases to benefit the four endangered fish species in the lower river, and help meet the terms of the Colorado River Compact. I can see the same thing eventually happening in the Snake/Clearwater basins.

    No politician in Washington state is ever going to be in favor of dam removal…not if they want to stay elected. So Hastings’ comments aren’t surprising. The real surprise to me is that local politicians in those Idaho counties along the river system are not more vocal in favor of fish recovery, particularly when you consider the limited economic options in many of these areas and the tremendous number of people that have shown up recently to fish for salmon/steelhead in Idaho.


August 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

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