Saturday, July 4, 2009

Obama Administration Opinion on Columbia due in Court August 14th

The federal government is taking its time deciding what to do about the long contentious 2008 Columbia River Biological Opinion (BiOp). Last week they asked for a 45 day extension to further review their plans for the Columbia system, that period ends August 14th at which time they will, ''advise the Court of the administration leadership's perspectives on the BiOp and whether further discussions are warranted.''

In May Judge James A. Redden sent administratoin officials a letter outlining the actions he believes necessary to bring the BiOp into compliance with the ESA. Among his suggestions were committing more money for restoration and monitoring on tributaries and in the estuary, increasing flow through the smolt outmigration period, recieve independent scientific oversight and in the event that less drastic measures fail, have a contingency plan for removing snake river dams. In granting the extension Redden said, ''We look forward to the administration leadership's perspectives, and whether 'further discussions are warranted.'' See the full article at the Columbia Basin Bulletin

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