Dam Breaching an Option to Protect Salmon,
U.S. District Judge James Redden told the Obama administration on Monday its changes to a Columbia-Snake salmon and dam plan should include a contingency plan to breach the four lower Snake River dams or draw down reservoirs on the Columbia or Snake rivers if current measures fail to protect endangered fish.
Redden wrote in a letter Monday he welcomed the administration's effort to review the controversial biological opinion on how federal dams affect 13 stocks of endangered salmon and steelhead.
But he said he still doubted the existing plan meets the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
"Federal defendants have spent the better part of the last decade treading water, and avoiding their obligations under the Endangered Species Act," Redden wrote. "Only recently have they begun to commit the kind of financial and political capital necessary to save these threatened and endangered species, some of which are on the brink of extinction. We simply cannot afford to waste another decade."
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