The Army Corps of Engineers has suffered a setback: The National Marine Fisheries Service revoked approval Aug. 25 for the Corps to deepen 103 miles of the Columbia River's shipping lane. New studies show dredging will hurt endangered salmon (HCN, 1/17/00: A dredging dilemma).
Meanwhile, a preliminary report by independent
scientists in Portland, Ore., estimates the Corps barged
or trucked over 85 percent of all baby salmon and
steelhead on the Snake River this year (HCN, 12/20/99: Unleashing
the Snake). Environmentalists and Columbia River Indian tribes say
transporting salmon harms them.
Northwest's most endangered salmon run made a comeback this year.
In the past 10 years, only 16 wild sockeye salmon survived the
900-mile swim up from the Pacific Ocean and past eight major dams.
This year's hatchery breeding program brought 222 sockeye
home to Redfish Lake in Idaho.
once, dismantling a dam in the Northwest is a
simple decision. Everyone agrees the Goldsborough Dam in Shelton,
Wash., no longer generates electricity and is falling apart. Yet it
continues to block salmon runs. Now, the state, the dam owner and
Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to pay for breaching (HCN,
10/11/99: Dooming a dam saves dollars).
George W. Bush is elected president, the West's newest national
monuments might be un-monuments. Republican vice
presidential nominee Dick Cheney recently criticized Clinton for
creating monuments "willy-nilly all over the West," and said a Bush
administration might try to rescind the designations (HCN, 4/10/00:
Beyond the Revolution).