the film
Commentaries and editorials

Keep Federal Government
on the Hook for Salmon

by Kell McAboy
The News Tribune, December 25, 2004

Re: “Salmon plan lays an egg” (Times News Tribune, 12/12/4).

I was baffled to read two opposing views, one titled “environmental” the other “business,” when in reality both were business views – with one side benefiting from an abundance of salmon (sport fishing industry), the other benefiting from a lack of regulations for salmon (building industry).

Unlike the spotted owl, salmon can’t be packaged up as the usual “jobs vs. environment” conflict. Like our forests, salmon are a renewable natural resource that not only provide jobs, but also define the Northwest. Salmon, and the businesses they support, are an important part of our state’s diverse economy just like the building industry.

The building industry, in its closing statement, actually tried to say that habitat protections for salmon are unnecessary because their abundance or lack thereof only depends on ocean conditions. This is absurd. As long as we let the federal government (and its four lower Snake River dams) off the hook for salmon recovery, the rest of us will continue to pay. Developers and anglers alike will continue to deal with increased regulations, while taxpayers will continue to shell out millions of dollars to pay for recovery actions that simply aren’t working.

The Salmon Planning Act provides an alternative to this “old and persistent problem.” The bill deserves congressional support.

Related Pages:
Survival of Downstream Migration data from NOAA Fisheries, 12/21/00

Kell McAboy, Tacoma
Keep Federal Government on the Hook for Salmon
The News Tribune, December 25, 2004

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