Salmon advocates recently requested a settlement judge be appointed by the Court to help improve the process of finding solutions to save endangered Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead. The federal agencies responded to the request today, stating that such a process is ”improper and should be denied” and that instead “now is the time to stay the course.”
The federal agencies appear to remain intransigent in their view that they will do no more than tweak a plan the courts have rejected in order to protect Columbia-Snake River salmon, despite the fact that the court said they should consider all options for saving salmon, and to sit down with others to craft a new, legally and scientifically sound plan.
“You’d have to believe in the tooth fairy to believe that the regional federal agencies are either truly consulting with all relevant parties in a meaningful way, or likely to develop a scientifically and legally responsible plan after failing miserably four times previously. It’s time to drop the fantasy and put in place a real process that brings all the key stakeholders together to work in tandem with the Obama Administration and the agencies to forge a solution that will work for salmon, people and communities,“ stated Bill Arthur, National Field Director of the Sierra Club, in reaction to the federal response. The court will consider the Plaintiffs’ request in the coming weeks.
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