An intent to sue the Bonneville Power Administration was noticed recently. And while it conjures images of Sisyphus from ancient Greek mythology, it had to be done again.
Though, you have to wonder who is being made to roll the boulder up the hill, the inaction agencies, the conservationists or wild salmon.
I am a supporter of at least one of the conservation agencies, Idaho Rivers United, who is bringing the lawsuit.
Here's what will happen, we, the conservationists, will win again in court. The court will give a set of instructions that will be marginally followed by the BPA, not to the true spirit of whatever orders arise from the case, but at least enough to allow BPA and others more time to run out the clock on meaningful, substantive changes that would allow our wild salmon and steelhead to recover through our removal of our obstacles, primarily four lower Snake River dams.
Sadly, without a Solutions Table or binding arbitration, our victory will again be hollow.
There is no true effort on the part of the BPA or the other agencies to allow for wild salmon recovery and there will not be without some paradigm shift in a lot of hearts and minds who will most likely see another court defeat as an excuse to up the ante on their war on everything else that has ever eaten a salmon or steelhead.
Maybe you look at the sea lion hazing and killings and cormorant and gulls hazings and killings and the now cease fire on terns and believe we are doing what we can for wild salmon and steelhead.
Maybe you view our 141 million hatchery smolt releases each year and think we are doing something to save these salmon.
Maybe you see the smolt barges leaving below Lower Granite or dropping off below Bonneville Dam and think we are doing all we can for these wild creatures and their domesticated bretheren.
But you need to look at our true nature, we want to look as though we are doing what we can. These inaction agencies want you to know that there is great, albeit misguided and foolish, effort being applied to "save" these fish and they want you to know the great cost and burden they bear.
In other words, the want to instill fear in you to keep you in line. They want you to fear what would work by showing you all of this other stuff doesn't work.
It doesn't cost them anything really, you are footing the bill. You and your hugger conscious and everyone else is footing the bill for their ineffective mitigation.
All you need to know about the nature of those who have no intention of following the law is to look around you.
When I look around I see folly, irony and hypocrisy everywhere I look in regards to our fish, wildlife and natural world.
They don't care about the money, yours, that they spend. It's the power they wield that matters.
Take sage grouse, for instance, and look at Idaho. Idaho's Legislature and Executive Branch either are or are beholden to ranchers and agriculture. Sage Grouse are endangered, whether endangered or threatened needs to be determined, but the states have asked for time to work on the problem to avoid the listing of sage grouse and what that would mean primarily to ranchers who use public lands.
Idaho will make the Idaho Fish & Game go out and place poisoned chicken eggs in various spots to kill ravens in an outlandish experiment to see if that boosts sage grouse numbers. Idaho will waste taxpayers dollars or fee revenue on something Fish & Game biologists admit has no scientific backing. It's akin to throwing darts at a target while blindfolded and dizzy. It's like playing sage grouse lotto.
When this fails, do the feds give Idaho a do over? Does some other foolish scheme get greenlighted?
It's the same with our salmon. Kill and harass those other salmon eaters, but don't deal with the true problem of habitat destruction.
They lose in court, always. They come back with plans, usually incredibly similar to previous illegal plans that they never get around to implementing and they lose again in court and do the same thing all over again.
In Idaho, we are killing wolves all over. We claim it's population control here and saving elk there. Yet, we have ranchers demanding we also do something about all the elk.
I occasionally read that Ag newspaper, Capitol Press. They placed a story about Washington farmers demanding something be done about all the elk, while on the next page and facing it, they had a story about California ranchers fighting ESA listing of wolves. It's funny how the answer can be right in front of you and you still can't see it.
We are the problem. We caused the decline of wild salmon and steelhead, we killed off the wolves allowing ungulates free reign. We are killing off the wolves again and complaining about too many elk whilst demanding the wolf slaughter continue.
Does it hurt that much to look in the mirror?
There are solutions to all problems, we have to have the courage to implement the real solution for our wild salmon and steelhead.
We are a part of the environment, not the engineers. It's high time we realized that and act accordingly.
The lawsuit is necessary, but not a solution. That will only come when all of us realize our place is in this world not above it. That comes through wisdom and this information age is increasingly impoverished in that arena.