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Save Our Wild Salmon

By Steve Weiss of the Northwest Energy Coalition
The Register Guard - Appeared in print: Sunday, Sep 27, 2009
Like the confluence of mighty rivers, regional processes involving two Northwest icons — wild salmon and clean energy — are converging.

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration delivered its salmon strategy for the Columbia and Snake rivers to U.S. District Court Judge James Redden. After a four-month review, Obama’s salmon team has adopted the rejected Bush administration plan as its own.

The Bush-turned-Obama plan embraces the failed programs of the past. Keeping expectations low, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration chief Jane Lubchenco assures us the plan will “prevent further declines.” In other words, ratepayers and taxpayers will remain on the hook for roughly $1 billion a year for the next 10 years to, at best, merely maintain Columbia Basin wild salmon and steelhead at their already seriously imperiled levels.

The Obama strategy does not even aspire to rebuild the 13 threatened and endangered populations to healthy and fishable levels. The new plan, like the old one, leaves our fishermen heading straight for the rocks. Talk about a jobless recovery.
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