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Opinion

Save Our Wild Salmon

astorian.logoSo it’s time for his NOAA to release scientific findings on the salmon plan

December 17th, 2009 -
In his inaugural speech, President Obama promised to restore science to its rightful place. That line was barbed comment on the presidency of George W. Bush, in which political decisions were made about biological issues. In the Bush years, government scientists were told to be silent.
Now we have evidence of a similar game at President Obama's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After NOAA released a timid salmon plan, groups such as Save Our Wild Salmon asked to see the testimony of scientific review that was delivered on July 6-8. But NOAA denied the request.

Slowly, the scientists' findings are dribbling out, as federal District Judge James Redden demands them. Eventually Judge Redden will have all of the scientific review.

Writing on Nov. 25, The Oregonian called the Obama salmon plan "clearly the best Columbia salmon recovery plan the federal government has ever produced." We do not accept that perspective, which we would politely suggest is the Bonneville Power Administration party line. Spilling water from the dams for the benefit of salmon lies at the heart of the salmon plan. But spilling water denies power generation to the BPA.

We also disagree with The Oregonian's recommendation that Judge Redden back off. If Judge Redden needs advisers, he can do better than the editorial writers who told us that an Liquefied Natural Gas terminal at Bradwood would be good for Columbia River salmon.

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