Opinion: Collaboration key to restoring jobs, salmon in Northwest

"Recently, the Obama administration's plan to restore endangered Columbia and Snake River salmon was declared illegal by U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland, Ore. The Columbia/Snake was once the most productive salmon watershed on earth; now 13 of its 19 salmon stocks are threatened or endangered by extinction, with total numbers at 1 percent of historic levels.

How the administration responds to the verdict is vital for every West Coast state, but the national stakes are also high - for taxpayers and jobs, for our natural heritage and for the Endangered Species Act. The stakes are rooted in this fact: the largest killer of Columbia and Snake River salmon is the government itself, which owns and operates dams that kill more of the endangered iconic fish than all other human factors combined.

Judge Redden has now found three consecutive plans illegal, from three administrations over 11 years, because each put protecting status quo operations of federal dams above science and the law. This is no activist judge; he has been patient to a fault through a decade of government law breaking, and has now given the Obama administration an additional two years to develop a legal plan."

Get the Story:
Pat Ford: Saving salmon, saving jobs (The Sacramento Bee 8/22)

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Editorial: Judge not amused by Columbia River salmon plans (8/4)

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