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State Will Sue about Federal Dam Policy

by Beth Casper
Salem Statesman Journal - January 15, 2005

Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced Friday the state's intent to sue the federal government about its recent decision about Columbia River dams and salmon recovery.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2004 opinion states that dams are part of the landscape and should not be considered a threat to fish. The most recent opinion is the result of a lawsuit about its former opinion, issued in 2000.

Oregon officials say the opinion abandons any effort to achieve recovery of Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead populations.

In a letter sent by Attorney General Hardy Myers, Oregon said that it would file suit against the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration if they do not change their policy within 60 days.

The state is seeking a plan that rebuilds naturally spawning populations of wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia basin while maintaining the economic benefits of the hydroelectric system.

Beth Casper, Salem
State Will Sue about Federal Dam Policy
Salem Statesman Journal, January 15, 2005

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