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Salmon Can be Saved Without Breach,
Official Says

by Associated Press
Spokesman Review, January 23, 2000

Council's goal is to recover enough to establish a fishery

TWIN FALLS, Idaho -- An Idaho representative to the Northwest Power Planning Council is optimistic the recovery of some species of endangered Idaho salmon would be possible without breaching four federal dams on the lower Snake River or using Idaho irrigation water to help flush the fish.

But efforts would not help all species, Mike Field said.

Field said the council's goal is to recover Idaho salmon enough to re-establish a fishery.

Field and council Chairman Todd Maddock are the Idaho representatives to the Northwest Power Planning Council. Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon each supply two representatives to the council.

The two council members told The Times-News Friday that research by federal agencies shows that restoring endangered Idaho salmon to fishable levels is going to take a number of efforts, including breaching dams, and measures that do not include dam breaching or flow augmentation are not likely to recover all salmon species.

And those federal efforts would be reflected in the council's own fish and wildlife recovery plan that would include endangered Idaho salmon and other fish and wildlife species.

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who appointed Field and Maddock, has said he opposes dam breaching and using Idaho water to increase flows in the lower Snake River, a concept known as flow augmentation.

Idaho intends to play a pivotal role in salmon recovery and will not tolerate a unilateral taking of its water, Kempthorne said recently, adding he would go to court immediately to protect the state's interest.

The governor has established a salmon cabinet, which includes Field and Maddock and the heads of state departments of agriculture, water resources, environmental quality, the attorney general's office and a representative from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Associated Press
Salmon Can be Saved Without Breach, Official Says
Spokesman Review, January 23, 2000

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