Judge Should OK
by Robert J. Speckman and Jerry Berger
On May 9, another hearing will be held in over a decade of litigation on the salmon plan for the Columbia River. In our opinion, Judge Redden should approve this plan.
For once, the region has a plan that is more comprehensive than any before it. It was produced in an unprecedented collaboration of federal agencies, three Northwest states and five sovereign tribes. It is based upon the best available science, has been reviewed and approved by an independent panel of scientists and incorporates adaptive management.
The plan before Judge Redden includes hundreds of measures and massive improvements at the dams and in the hydro operations to help salmon throughout their complicated life cycle. Strong, even record breaking returns of adult salmon in the past few years indicate the plan and the collaboration are working.
The dams at issue provide us with clean, renewable, hydroelectric power. The bulk of this salmon plan will be paid for by consumer-owned utility customers who buy power generated by these dams. Continued litigation only increases the cost of this plan to consumer-owned utility customers and delays implementation measures that are beneficial to salmon.
We urge Judge Redden to approve this plan even though it comes at a high cost to electric utility customers -- our customers -- and our communities.
Give Salmon Plan a Chance to Work by Ed Brost & Jim Sanders, Tri-City Herald, 5/1/11
Time to Get Out of the Courtroom and Into the River by Doc Hastings & Peter DeFazio, The Oregonian, 3/11/11
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