Business Has an Interest
by Joan G. Harris
Re: “Salmon plan lays an egg” (Insight, 12/12/4). I found it interesting that both writers – Jeff Morton and Timothy Harris – represent business interests, though they take very different positions on the importance of salmon to our regional economy and culture.
Morton is president of a company representing manufacturers of fishing gear. Harris is a lawyer for the building industry. Unlike the builders, Morton has a vital economic stake in effective salmon recovery in the Columbia Basin and across the Northwest. Salmon may be one of the only endangered species supported by businesses because of its economic importance.
Salmon recovery can’t be boiled down to whether we protect the environment or promote jobs. Clearly, recovering salmon to self-sustaining, harvestable populations will create jobs.
It is time to think about salmon recovery as an economic development tool in our state. However, despite Harris’ assertions otherwise, the Bush administration is headed in the wrong direction.
Salmon are far from recovered. Now is not the time to remove habitat protections that salmon, people and businesses depend upon.
Survival of Downstream Migration data from NOAA Fisheries, 12/21/00
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