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Save Our Wild Salmon Obama administration should make public all documents

Register Guard Editorial - Saturday, Dec 26, 2009
The Obama administration wants federal District Judge James Redden to believe that eight hydroelectric dams currently producing power on the Columbia and Snake rivers can coexist with 13 populations of salmon and steelhead that have become imperiled, largely because of those same dams.

It’s a formidable challenge, one the administration can help meet by releasing all documents regarding its scientific review of the Bush administration’s controversial biological opinion or, as it’s better known, “bi-op.”

On Nov. 30, Judge Redden asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and two other federal agencies to provide those documents. Save Our Wild Salmon, a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging the Bush-era plan, also has requested the documents, including the testimony of scientists and a report on their review. But so far the agencies have released less than a third of the information to the public.

That doesn’t inspire confidence that the Obama administration engaged in the thorough and independent review that federal officials say they conducted before returning with a plan that left largely intact key components of the Bush administration’s bi-op.

Read more of the editorial from the Register Guard.
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