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Commentaries and editorials

Objective Information Urgent

by Ron Johns
Spokesman Review, May 20, 2007

Wednesday's Spokesman-Review editorial, "Facts Over Furor," supports initiating a congressional-sponsored study by the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the effectiveness of past federal recovery efforts of wild salmon and steelhead populations on the lower Snake River. The National Academy would also be asked to determine the most effective direction for future recovery efforts. This directive is contained in proposed HB 1507, along with a proviso that the Government Accountability Office "be asked to weigh the economic impact" of the academy's recommendations.

This scientific approach is reasonable and adds a high degree of common sense in attempting to resolve this more-than-40-year intractable issue. Using the nation's pre-eminent scientific body is an excellent idea. The National Academy has an impeccable reputation for the quality and scientific objectivity of its research. This type of process places a very high value on the human capacity to think objectively and use reason to solve a very difficult and fractious problem.

The main drawback: it takes time. The wild salmon do not have much time. Their spring and fall runs are currently near extinction levels. Hopefully, all involved parties will move to expedite a swift process.

Ron Johns, Spokane
Objective Information Urgent
Spokesman Review, May 20, 2007

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