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Topic: Politics & Policy     Department: Letters

Salmon got your tongue?

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Judith Lewis Mernit's "Obama and the West" was strangely silent on the administration's track record on Northwest salmon (HCN, 2/7/11). Maybe that's because it doesn't fit neatly into the theme of "slow but steady progress." Columbia Basin salmon -- and the communities that rely on them -- have suffered mightily since the nation's first salmon population, Snake River sockeye, was officially listed under the Endangered Species Act 20 years ago. We are still waiting for President Obama's promises of change to arrive here in salmon country. Thank goodness for stalwart federal Judge James Redden's rejection of a series of inadequate federal plans over the past decade that would harm salmon and the people of the West Coast fishing economy. The judge has, through his numerous rulings, protected more salmon and created more salmon-related jobs than Clinton, Bush and Obama combined. As for the future, we're looking toward Redden's anticipated ruling this spring, hoping that he tosses out the 2010 Salmon Plan and gives the president a new opportunity to live up to the change that he has promised.

Bob Rees
President, Northwest Guides and Anglers Association
Tillamook, Oregon

HCN responds: Our Obama cover story did mention that his administration is continuing Bush's unambitious
salmon policy.

cat koehn
cat koehn
Mar 15, 2011 02:39 PM
The Salmon of the Pacific NW are in trouble because of the Political pressures that have promoted 'Politics NOT Science'.
We must de-politicize this critically endangered species, and start listening to the Biologist. There is direct evidence that Science has been corrupted in process. Back before they even built the first dam on the Columbia, their own biologists told them that '20% of young Salmon' would die in the turbines of EACH of those dams, and that is very near the mortality rates we now see; then you have to add in all the GAS poisoning that the fish are subjected to as well, and you can see why the government is wasting it's millions on producing Hatchery fish, only to be chewed up in turbines!

Only like 2% of their inferior hatchery fish even return! No legitimate business could ever stay in operation, by spending 'hundreds of dollars' to produce a single fish, that only stands a few percent chance of ever breeding. These are NOT 'sustainable' policies! We must stop flooding the rivers with these 'fake fish' and stop wasting our money on FAILED FIXES like Hatcheries! They are HARMING the real Salmon!

The voice of the people needs to be heard, or the Salmon will never stand a chance. Please contact EPA and NOAA to demand that sound Science be followed in the US Salmon policies. Thanks, Cat Koehn

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