the film
Commentaries and editorials

Follow the Lead Set Out
by Babbitt and Kitzhaber

by Mark Rutherford
Tacoma News Tribune, October 15, 2006

I am the the owner of Wild River Guide Co., a family business employing four people as fly fishing guides.

Finally, people are willing to call a spade a spade and declare Bush administration salmon policy in the Columbia Basin an unmitigated failure in clear, unambiguous terms. I thank former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber for that, and also for urging the development of a science-based, cost-effective salmon recovery plan that removes the four costly, deadly, outdated dams on the lower Snake River while replacing the dams' minimal benefits with alternatives that keep our farming communities whole.

Sounds like a plan to me, but where is it? If we can remove the four dams, restore salmon and our fishing communities to health, save taxpayer dollars and keep farmers farming, why won't our current elected officials in Congress step up and lead the way?

My hat goes off to Kitzhaber and Babbitt for speaking up and calling the question. I guess it remains for us to hope, pray, cajole, write, call, meet with and otherwise encourage our regional leaders to follow their lead, explore the alternatives, bring people together, and figure out a way to solve this costly, unnecessary and ultimately tragic mess.

Mark Rutherford, Vashon Island
Follow the Lead Set Out by Babbitt and Kitzhaber
Tacoma News Tribune, October 15, 2006

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