A federal judge has rebuked the government for its latest plan to restore salmon runs along the Columbia and Snake rivers.
According to The Oregonian, U.S. District Judge James A. Redden has declared that the government plan, like two previous plans he also rejected, won’t live up to the Endangered Species Act because it does not provide reasonable options for improving salmon habitat.
The newspaper also writes that the judge has expressed doubts about the government’s “salmon science” — a view shared by Oregon state officials — and may convene his own panel of experts on the topic.
By calling for officials to including the removal of several dams in their plan, Redden has positioned himself squarely against the Bush administration, which has “flatly refused” to consider any dam removals.
If no plan is approved, Redden could declare all dam operations illegal, which would affect everything from irrigation to hydropower throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“Judge rips latest plan to help salmon”
The Oregonian, December 11, 2007