Show Him the Salmonby Editorial Board
The Oregonian, August 3, 2011
Judge James Redden wants more proof that the feds' salmon plan will work; the judge gives federal agencies 30 months and offers little enthusiasm for a central component of their plan -- habitat restoration.
The Bush administration once made the ridiculous claim that the hydro dams on the Columbia River are part of the Northwest landscape, something akin to Mount Hood. Years later it's clear there's only one immutable object on the river, and that's U.S. District Judge James Redden.
His honor served notice Tuesday that he's not going to let go of a long-running salmon lawsuit unless and until he's persuaded the government's so-called biological opinion, its 10-year plan for protecting and recovering endangered salmon, will be successful. The Northwest that waited months for a ruling in this crucial case will have to wait some more -- what Redden issued isn't a decision so much as a mix of messages.
The headlines say that Redden rejected the government's recovery plan, and yet the judge also instructed the federal agencies (and the three Northwest states and many tribes backing the plan) to keep doing what they're doing through 2013. At the same time, he told them to come back to him with a new biological opinion in 30 months.
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