Salmon Decision Gets Mixed,
by Rocky Barker
The Obama administration's decision to back the federal plan for managing dams and salmon on the Columbia and Snake Rivers was praised by the industries and political leaders that liked the plan.
But it was panned by the environmentalists and fishing groups that had opposed it. Here are some of the comments:
Todd True, one of the attorneys for the fishing and conservation groups in the litigation.
"Instead of the actions these fish need, they are offering a plan for more planning and a study for more studying. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their treatment of major changes to the dams and river operations, which are among the most critical issues for salmon survival and recovery."
Samuel N. Penney, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribe stated:
"The Administration's support for the flawed scientific and legal analysis in the 2008 BiOp that concludes the ESA is satisfied so long as one more fish is returning is impossible to square with President Obama's commitment to 'restoring science to its rightful place' and strengthening the ESA."
Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners, an group representing utilities, irrigators and barging shipping interests.
"This plan - while expensive - holds the most promise for the region to move forward collectively to do things that actually benefit fish."
Norm Semanko, executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association:
"The Obama administration was very thoughtful and very professional. It's obvious they took the extra time to do this right."
House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Republican Member Doc Hastings of Washington:
"The Obama Administration has put dam removal back on the table and delivered just what dam removal extremists have been demanding. No one should be fooled by talk of dam removal as a last resort when the Obama Administration is immediately launching studies and plans for such action.
"The extremists who brought this lawsuit may be critical about this plan because dam removal wasn't delivered on a silver platter with promises of wrecking balls arriving next week, but they got what they wanted from the Obama Administration and they'll try and convince Judge Redden to give them even more."
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