1. Spill Baby Spill! - Obama botches another chance to get off the anti-salmon, anti-science path – salmon advocates file in federal court.
2. Why is Bonneville Power crafting salmon science? - Author Steve Hawley illuminates BPA's key role in the Administration's highly questionable process of creating salmon policy.
3. A Temporary Victory - Senator Feinstein's anti-salmon rider rebuffed for now.
4. Hot Pants / Cool Rivers - Mountain Khakis and SOS Photo Contest - Send us a photo of your favorite river for your chance to win some great gear!
1. Spill Baby Spill: Obama botches another chance to get off the anti-salmon, anti-science path – the bad salmon policies for the Columbia Basin just keep on coming…
After more than a year in office, the Obama Administration has failed to reverse some of the most damaging anti-salmon, anti-science, and anti-jobs policies left behind by his predecessor. For example, after a closed-door scientific review last summer, the Administration adopted the deeply-flawed 2008 Bush-era Salmon Plan as its own.
This spring, the Obama Administration has queued up two key decisions that will have a major impact on the prospects for salmon recovery in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Unfortunately, in both cases, the status quo – not change – appears to be the order of the day.
Decision #1 - Salmon Policy: Why Kill Spill?
This month, the Administration is proposing to eliminate key protections for salmon during this spring’s migration on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Spilling water - and young salmon with it - over the federal dams is the safest and most effective way to help juvenile fish navigate the lethal hydrosystem and reach the Pacific Ocean. The Administration would rather run more water through the turbines to maximize energy production while depositing as many fish as possible into trucks and barges to deliver them to the ocean. Spill, however, has broad support from across the scientific community, including NOAA’s sister agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS); an independent fisheries science agency called the Fish Passage Center (FPC); and state fish and wildlife agencies and leading salmon scientists in the Northwest. Cutting spill as NOAA Fisheries has proposed is a high-risk proposition for salmon and salmon-dependent communities alike.
***LATEST SOS UPDATE - Courtroom Filing: Salmon advocates ask judge to reject spill curtailment
***LATEST EDITORIAL - Seattle Times, April 7th, 2010: Water over the dam works for salmon
Decision #2: Salmon Dis-Appointment?
Real change needed for NOAA Fisheries NW Administrator
The Obama Administration is also poised to fill the NOAA Fisheries post for Northwest Regional Administrator, a position that is critical to salmon restoration efforts in the Columbia-Snake Rivers. For a presidential candidate who ran on a platform of change, hope, and bringing people together, some of President Obama’s leading prospects for this post represent little more than business-as-usual.
Whether we are salmon, fishermen, or taxpayers, we desperately need a fresh start. And that will only happen with the appointment of a proven leader who is committed to good science, effective solutions, bringing people together, and advocating for healthy salmon and fishing communities. At least some of the administration's candidates fall far short of these important benchmarks, and, if appointed, are likely to only further lock in the failed status quo.
ACT NOW: Please send a message to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. Ask them to commit to policies and people that follow the science, create new jobs, and solve the complex problems facing endangered Northwest salmon and working people.
2. Why is Bonneville Power crafting salmon science?: Author Steve Hawley illuminates BPA's key role in the Obama administration's highly questionable process of creating salmon policy.
Under the Northwest Power and Conservation Act of 1980, the Bonneville Power Administration is required to give fish and wildlife concerns equal weight alongside hydropower generation in its operation of the dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Unfortunately, this has rarely been the case. Some of BPA’s past actions include, but are not limited to, improper accounting for its fish and wildlife expenditures, eliminating important in-river salmon protections, attempting to dismantle the Fish Passage Center (the agency that tracks how the fish are doing), and attempts to mislead the Obama administration.Recently, many have begun to question the role that BPA actually plays in crafting or influencing the policies adopted by other agencies, most notably NOAA Fisheries in their Columbia-Snake Basin salmon plan. In late March, the Oregonian printed a great piece on this topic from Steven Hawley, author of an upcoming book on the Columbia River salmon crisis.
3. A Temporary Victory: Senator Feinstein's anti-salmon rider rebuffed for now.
Several weeks ago, we sent many of you on the West Coast an urgent alert to Senator Feinstein (if you live in California) or your Senators (if you live in other Pacific salmon states) in an effort to stop a legislative rider that Senator Feinstein was threatening to attach to an important jobs bill; the rider would have effectively suspended Endangered Species Act protections for salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta area in California.
With our call to action, and similar efforts from scores of organizations and businesses across the coast and around the country, we helped generate a noisy uproar from the grassroots, newspaper editorial boards, members of Congress, and others – all urging Senator Feinstein to withdraw her harmful proposal.
In response to the pressure, a report of improved snowpack (thus a better water supply forecast), and some last-minute negotiations with the Administration, Senator Feinstein finally agreed several weeks ago not to move forward with her anti-salmon rider…at least for now (the Senator has indicated that she may seek to attach the language to a future bill).
Congratulations on beating back this destructive proposal and thank you for your help with sending a strong message to Senator Feinstein.
Here are excerpts from a couple of the editorials that ran in the days and weeks before Sen. Feinstein was expected to offer her rider:
Los Angeles Times Editorial Board suggests "Stop interfering with the state's delicate water talks and withdraw this destructive amendment." (February 17) More from the LA Times here.
Sacramento Bee: "Feinstein, however, also has been known to take reckless stands. She is doing so now, with plans to amend a fast-moving jobs bill to reduce Endangered Species Act protections for fish, including salmon, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta...Feinstein is grossly oversimplifying the water situation in the Delta and the valley. "
4. Hot Pants / Cool Rivers - Mountain Khakis and SOS Photo Contest: Send us a photo of your favorite river for your chance to win some great gear!
Save Our Wild Salmon has teamed up with Mountain Khakis to highlight our shared love of free-flowing rivers. To show their support for the Snake River and its salmon, and celebrate all the beautiful rivers to be found around the world, Mountain Khakis is giving away some sweet gear and clothing throughout the month!
Between April 5 and April 30, send us a photo of your favorite river. As a little incentive we'll be featuring a photo on the Save Our WIld Salmon and Mountain Khaki blog each week and we'll be giving away some cool Mountain Khakis gear!
On April 30, we'll give away our grand prize - a product from MKs new Snake River Collection!
Entering is easy! To submit, upload your photo(s) to the Save Our Wild Salmon Flickr Pool. Make sure your photo has a title and a description. We look forward to seeing your work and the rivers that you love!
To win you must be a U.S. resident or have a U.S shipping address. Sorry, rest of the world!