the film
Commentaries and editorials

Posing with the Doomed

by Editors
Idaho Mountain Express, September 15, 2006

(Photo David N. Seelig) Surrounded by media representatives, Idaho Gov. Jim Risch, second from right, prepares to let go one of 470 sockeye salmon released into Redfish Lake Friday, Sept. 8, near Stanley. The fish, all raised in hatcheries, are part of a captive broodstock program that has kept the species on life support in Idaho for the last two decades. It's an annual political photo op - Idaho's governor or other politicians posing for news cameras as they release hundreds of hatchery-bred sockeye salmon into Redfish Lake.

Frankly, it also is an annual act of sheer, shameless hypocrisy, performed this year by Gov. Jim Risch, supposedly showing his concern for perpetuating the salmon species by gently releasing sockeye from a barrel into the lake as cameras clicked and whirred

Yet Gov. Risch has shown no inclination in his years as a state legislator or as governor to champion the one remedy that could end the relentless decline in migrating salmon - breaching Snake River dams.

The dams long have been the documented death traps for the once-flourishing salmon. However, politicians who should and could resolve to breach the dams have toadied to hydro-power and shipping interests while blithely ignoring the imperiled salmon and all that the fish means to Idaho's heritage and its environment.

Cute exercises in public relations once a year to curry momentary favor with naturalists has become sickening.

Until Gov. Risch and other officeholders who pretend to be guardians of salmon actually take necessary heroic stands in the species' behalf, they not only condemn themselves as hypocrites, but also play the unseemly roles of executioners posing with the doomed for news cameras.

Posing with the Doomed
Idaho Mountain Express, September 15, 2006

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation