Rocky Barker: Goodbye Larry Craig, Bill Sali, Gordon Smith. Hello salmon solution?

Pacific NW political retirement and defeats may break 20-year logjam on saving the salmon-

Rocky Barker points out that the election outcome may have removed the obstacles to the conservationists’ solution of the sorry condition of salmon runs into Idaho, but breaching the navigation dams on the lower Snake River in Washington is still far from certain.

Election sets the stage for regional forum on salmon and dams
. By Rocky Barker. “Letters from the West.” Idaho Statesman.

Judge Redden tells feds to fix damage to salmon from dams or else

The federal judge pressing the government to remedy the damage Columbia River dams wreak on protected salmon warned Wednesday of “very harsh” consequences if federal agencies fail to find a solution.

This is from the story in the Oregonian by Michael Milstein on the federal judge’s views on the biological opinion that is emerging from the federal government on their latest plan (their 6th “BO”) to save the salmon protected by the endangered species act. We can do better’ for fish, judge says. Columbia salmon: A federal judge promises “very harsh” measures if a solution is not found The previous five haven’t done well.

Rocky Barker has a story on Redden’s warning too today. Get serious about salmon, judge says. Redden tells federal officials he can drain water if they don’t look at all the ways to save fish. Idaho Statesman. He has followed the issue for many years and has a blog entry on it. Redden still holds out hope region can bring him legal salmon plan.

For those who haven’t following this issue, this is the other long-standing wildlife controversy in Idaho (the first being wolves). Unlike the wolves, there is real money at stake here, not a couple million, but billions. Read the rest of this entry »