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Know the West

Salmon find a friend

  Endangered Snake River salmon recently found a northern ally in their battle against Columbia River dams. Republican Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska announced April 28 that his state had begun legal action to join a lawsuit brought by environmental and fishing groups against the National Marine Fisheries Service. The groups sued the agency this spring after it ruled that Columbia and Snake River dams weren't jeopardizing the survival of wild chinook and sockeye salmon.

The governor said Alaskans are angry at the Fisheries Service for reducing the allowable catch of salmon in southeastern Alaska to lower the risk of catching the endangered fish. He said people in his state find it hard to believe that "penalizing our fishermen, while allowing the Columbia River dams to kill up to 100 percent of all young Snake River fall chinook, is a responsible policy."

* John Rosapepe