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Commentaries and editorials

"Inspite of the Inertia . . ."

Cecil Andrus, Idaho Governor 1971-77, 1987-95
Sockeye Release Redfish Lake, Idaho - August 12, 1993

Cecil: First I would like to congratulate those who put forth the necessary effort in spite of the inertia of the Federal Government, in spite of the opposition, in spite of the money of the downstream utilities and industries, and in spite of all of the forces you have continued to fight the battle here as Mr. Boyer pointed out.

And let me say to Mr. Boyer, I would like to ask him if he would. . . he would join Jamie and myself as we release some of these salmon I think it would be symbolic move on . .. on the part of . . . of society to recognize that the natural resources that . . . that he mentioned to you . . . uh. . . we didn't create them, we've been destroying them. Perhaps this experiment will work in behalf of society to see if there isn't some way that we can rejuvenate them.

Now Idahoans have always been very independent people. We will continue to be. We have put forth our best efforts to see that the salmon would be maintained. In spite of some of those down river interests - John - That . . . that we see (laughs). That . . . that have continually . . . continually put up road blocks. We have fought every place and every way we can. I can say to you today that Idaho will go to court in the next few days to. . .(applause). I'm. . . I'm not one who likes to continue to be in the Federal court house but like the nuclear waste problems on the desert the other too many times I can't get anybody to listen and when they won't listen and negotiate with those people who do care about the resources the only place left we have to go is to the Federal court house. So we're headed that way.

Let me just say, today, that . . . that we started out years ago trying to protect a . . . a stock of returning adult salmon both Sockeye and Chinook to perpetuate the runs. We have not permitted sport fisheries in this state since 1977. Yet the . . . the harvest down stream continues. Both sport fishing and commercial fishing in an area where they have paid little or no attention. And I think the total disregard was demonstrated by the Army Corps of Engineers day before yesterday when they said, "Well... we're not going to do any of the drawdowns we are not going to do anything that . . . that we think will save the salmon. Until we're going to experiment into 1996 and then we will have 3 years of experimentation then we're going to have some other things of retrofitting the dams. It will be about the year 2000, ladies and gentlemen, and frankly what those interests are believing is that by that point in time there won't be any salmon left, therefore, the question will be moot. Well, we are not going to wait that long we're going to move expeditiously.

I can only say to you that I hope . . . I hope the adults that we're releasing here today will have the opportunity to spawn and that . . . that their smolt, the juveniles, . . . will escape passage through those lethal barriers that man has created downstream for them. So, I would say thank you to the members of the Idaho Fish & Game department, to all the Conservation League, to all of the men and women who care and have put forth the effort.

Now I think that's enough in the comments and I think if perhaps if we move and Mr. Boyer would join us. Jamie . . . Jamie has also agreed to one other thing. Now Jamie has agreed to let us name one of these Sockeye Salmon, "Wanda" (laughter and applause).

(Eight of twenty-four adult Sockeye Salmon are then released one at a time. The others are released eight per day on the previous and following day)

Cecil Andrus Idaho Governor 1971-77, 1987-95
"Inspite of the Inertia . . ."
Sockeye Release at Redfish Lake, Idaho - August 12, 1993

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