Thursday, August 6, 2009

As Deadline Approaches Snake River Debate Continues

The court imposed deadline for the Obama administration to submit an alternative proposal to the 2008 BiOp has been set for August 14th. The 2008 BiOp has been rejected a number of times on the grounds that it fails to address the fundemental issues contributing to salmon declines in the Columbia and Snake River systems and therefore does not ensure with any likelihood that the fish will recover. In May Judge James Redden who has presided over the case said that in order for the plan to be legal it must have a contingency plan for removal of the four lower Snake River dams should wild salmon and steelhead continue to decline. Now as the court imposed date approaches the dam removal camp appears to be gaining steam. Idahos two Republican Senators and Newly elected Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley have all made calls for the Obama administration to form a plan that ensures an enduring solution to the problems posed by the hydropower system and for the first time, many politicians and communities are open to discussing the prospect of removal.

Now three former Governors, John Kitzhaber of Oregon, Cecil Andrus of Idaho and Mike Lowry of Washington have drafted a letter asking the Obama administration to reject the 2008 BiOp and move forward providing leadership to ensure that a lasting solution is found. See the Coverage in the Oregonian

and view a copy of the letter at Save Our Wild Salmon's website

To date, Washington States two Senators have failed to provide consequential leadership on Columbia/Snake Salmon Recovery. It is important that they hear from their constituents that removing the dams on the Snake it a priority. If you are a Washington State Resident please contact both Maria Cantwell and Patty Murry and let them know that lasting salmon recovery is important to the Northwest.

Maria Cantwell

phone: 1-888-648-7328

Patty Murry

phone: 1-866-481-9136

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