Salmon Got Your Tongue?
by Bob Rees
High Country News, February 21, 2011
Judith Lewis Mernit's "Obama and the West" was strangely silent on the administration's track record on Northwest salmon (HCN, 2/7/11). Maybe that's because it doesn't fit neatly into the theme of "slow but steady progress." Columbia Basin salmon -- and the communities that rely on them -- have suffered mightily since the nation's first salmon population, Snake River sockeye, was officially listed under the Endangered Species Act 20 years ago. We are still waiting for President Obama's promises of change to arrive here in salmon country. Thank goodness for stalwart federal Judge James Redden's rejection of a series of inadequate federal plans over the past decade that would harm salmon and the people of the West Coast fishing economy. The judge has, through his numerous rulings, protected more salmon and created more salmon-related jobs than Clinton, Bush and Obama combined. As for the future, we're looking toward Redden's anticipated ruling this spring, hoping that he tosses out the 2010 Salmon Plan and gives the president a new opportunity to live up to the change that he has promised.
HCN responds: Our Obama cover story did mention that his administration is continuing Bush's unambitious salmon policy.
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