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Obama Administration Given
More Time on Dam/Salmon Plan

by Staff
Lewiston Tribune, August 10, 2009

The Obama administration has been granted more time to decide how it wants to proceed with efforts to reconcile Snake and Columbia river dam operations with salmon and steelhead recovery.

The president's team is reviewing a salmon and dam plan, known as a biological opinion, that spells out what measures should be taken to help the threatened and endangered fish runs. The administration was supposed to announce its position by Friday, according to a deadline imposed by U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland. But today the administration sent a letter to Redden asking for an extension to Sept. 15. Redden granted the extension.

According to the letter signed by Coby Howell of the Justice Department, the administration wants time to "discuss and explain our process and position on the (biological opinion) with all of the parties before formally presenting our position to the Court. In these discussions with the other parties we will be seeking to determine if there is common ground that can be achieved based on our review. Therefore, we respectfully request additional time to conduct these discussions on our final position to the Court on September 15, 2009"

Redden has signaled through a series of letters to the parties of the litigation, that the current plan, while being close to acceptable, has a few serious short comings.

Obama Administration Given More Time on Dam/Salmon Plan
Lewiston Tribune, August 10, 2009

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