Salmon: Protect the Evidenceby Editorial Board
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 29, 2005
Sen. Larry Craig is illuminating the debate around saving fish. The Idaho Republican is making it clear that the opponents of salmon protection feel no need for the light of facts.
Indeed, Craig is trying to eliminate scientific evidence of what is happening to fish in the Columbia River system.
A Senate appropriations bill includes report language intended to kill an agency that has been collecting data on the survival of salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The effect of Craig's language would be to make it difficult or impossible for the Bonneville Power Administration to continue funding the vital work of the tiny, 11-person Fish Passage Center in Portland.
Craig and others are angry about recent federal court rulings protecting endangered fish. The center's work has helped make clear the serious problems salmon still face.
As a letter from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife warns, preserving the center is urgent. Tribes and taxpayers in the states will have to hire more people to do the same work.
Craig also has raised the idea of using the appropriations process to undo the court decisions, an extremely bad idea both in principle and practice. Congress must preserve the center and the integrity of the courts. The Senate should not try to undo the Endangered Species Act or the science needed to protect threatened creatures and the environment they share with people.
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs