Tribes Make a Controversial Deal on Salmonby Rocky Barker
High Country News, April 21, 2008
Rocky Barker After three Columbia River tribes decided to stop pushing for the breaching of four federal dams on the Snake River, many critics spoke the ugly word "sellout." The tribes will receive $900 million in new salmon projects in exchange for halting their court battle for the next decade.
However, the Warm Springs, Yakama and Umatilla tribes - joined later in the day on April 7 by the Colville tribe -- are following in the footsteps of the region's leaders, even though many scientists say that the dam breaching is necessary to save 13 stocks of endangered salmon. The tribes gave up their fight to breach the dams because they read the current political tea leaves: Not one political leader in the Pacific Northwest in either party supports breaching dams.
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