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Breaking Inaugural Promises

by Mark Rutherford
Seattle Times, September 21, 2009

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, 10 miles up the Snake River from its confluence with the Columbia River, is under consideration for breaching. (ACOE photo) I make my living as a salmon- and trout-fishing guide, so I was dismayed to read the president's decision to recognize bad science, ignore a federal judge, and likely bury forever family fishing jobs and Northwest traditions.

To adopt the Bush-era Columbia Basin salmon plan as his own, President Obama abandons his inaugural day promise to restore science to its rightful place, and ensure that science drives policy, not the other way around.

Based on the comments of administration officials who released the new plan, it might maintain current levels of depressed populations or worse, allow them to decline further toward extinction.

With this plan the restoration of healthy salmon populations is not an option, even though restoration will create jobs across Puget Sound, increase opportunities for recreational fishing, and ensure the future of an irreplaceable regional icon. That is the change we need, but that is not the plan we got.

Mark Rutherford, Vashon Island
Breaking Inaugural Promises
Seattle Times, September 21, 2009

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