Bush Salmon Budget Blasted from Left, Rightby Dan Hansen, Staff Writer
The Spokesman Review, May 13, 2001
Critics say the Bush administration's proposed 2002 budget falls far short of what's needed to help endangered salmon.
Clinton administration officials warned last July that saving salmon without breaching dams would take more money. Then-candidate Bush said he was committed to saving dams and salmon both.
But the $287 million in salmon spending contained in President Bush's budget proposal is about the same as last year's spending.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has said in the past that the Snake River dams should be removed, has complained that Bush's budget falls about $700 million short. He's found a rare ally in someone who opposes breaching and claiming more water from farmers.
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, proposes a $688 million budget boost for "aggressive action" to save salmon. Some of the money would go to one-time projects; some would have to be recommitted.
Environmental groups rarely find common ground with Crapo. In this case, Jeff Curtis of Trout Unlimited questioned some of Crapo's priorities for the money, but generally praises the senator's request.
"A lot of what he's proposing, we think is quite appropriate," Curtis said. "We're glad that he's stepped up to the plate."
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