It truly is great that more and more elected people are coming out in favor of a solutions table, which leaves the various employees of the people of the United States from the "action agencies" or inaction agencies when it comes to actually saving the wild salmon and steelhead of the Snake as the main holdouts along with some others of a certain salmon be damned or dammed persuasion.
I thought I would share something that might not be of any real concern or could be a bad omen on the horizon. The governor of Oregon's statement the other day didn't mention breaching the dams and instead talked about spill and flow and managing a river at its natural state. This is the same guy who in February 2000 tells the American Fisheries Society that he is in favor of breaching the four lower Snake River dams. He later said it again in 2006 and in 2008 when some thought he might be Obama's pick for Secretary of the Interior the media went about reminding us that he was all about the breaching. And maybe he still is, but what better opportunity than his call for a table where a solution might be had to again mention his support for breaching. Has his position changed since Americans were transfixed on where young Elian Gonzalez should live? Has his position changed since the Democrats ensured Dubya's lame duck session with wins in 2006? Or did he not reiterate his support for breaching the dams because he wants the other side to come to the table? Perhaps taking a cue from Ali and doing a rope-a-dope?
I don't know, but my experience with those who count their worth by their ability to win elections in recent U.S. history is that 12 years ago, six years ago, four years ago are ancient history and positions evolve or evaporate over time. You know like in May Romney wasn't worried about 47 percent of Americans, then he basically said it again but admitted he didn't use the most elegant words and then last week he says he was completely wrong once someone did enough polling for him to figure out writing off 47 percent of the electorate means his opponent only need convince four percent of the remaining voters to pick him over Thurston Howell III.
Again, I must reiterate that out there and among the salmon advocates is this "solution" that isn't a solution where we build some more dams and attempt to manage the Snake and Columbia like they once were, but only at a higher elevation where we can still ship things via barge and make electricity. Hey, great idea, if it could ever work, but that's not being true to the wild fish (nor will it work). Be true to the wild fish, that's the only way you are ever going to come up with a real solution that works for the wild fish of the Snake River Basin. Let's say you are an organization who is committed to saving salmon in some capacity, don't let some organizational nuance blind you to being true to the wild fish. Save the wild fish, any organizational goal you might have had will be far exceeded once you allow being true to the wild fish to be your guide.
Yes, I know, I just lost 80 percent of the people with that be true to the wild fish remark, but we are selfish beings who think all of this is about us. Biodiversity be damned, we can make our own food. Hey, I read Adam Smith and buy into his selfish, sorry fish on my mind, self-interest motives theory that sprung capitalism. Then again even in being true to the wild fish, I could argue the self-interest motives inherent in that. But (back to what I was saying) this solution (if we ever come to it) isn't about or shouldn't be about how we transport more goods (stripping our natural resource wealth and shipping it off, over producing on the agriculture side and shipping it off), or our making enough electricity for the aluminum mills and the server farms or some other self-centered, human-centered, economy-centered mindset. (you know part of me wants to up the ante enough that I become the most annoying, inescapable voice so that the BPA, Corps and BOR find themselves on the side of breaching when someone points out a server farm I need to get my message out won't get the power it needs if they breach. At least the fish will be saved then. I wonder if that would work. Well, of course not, because these dams only produce four percent of the power up in these parts) Sorry back to the narrative...
The solution has to be about the wild fish, it has to stay true to the wild fish. And what do the wild fish need? Well, these fish that come back to Idaho and Eastern Oregon and Washington they primarily need a return of their migratory habitat. Their spawning and rearing habitat is essentially sound, especially here in central Idaho. The Clearwater Basin needs work in a lot of places, but the Salmon and it's tribs are in great shape. The wild fish need their migratory habitat restored, not manipulated, restored. That is how you are true to the wild fish. So, one of your friends may come to you at this table that might happen in the future and they may try to twist your arm over to this elevate and flow and tell you of emerging science like that guy back in April that sent me through the roof. Don't fall for it, be true to the wild fish. Save them, that's what has to be done. Don't think you've succeeded in anyway by coming to some agreement that might prolong their agony, sorry existence in this world, save them. Be true to the wild fish.
It is great to see that maybe the Nez Perce on two occasions, with hatchery fall Chinook and hatchery summer Chinook that maybe they can extend a lifeline to our wild fish without damaging the gene pool. But guard for the hubris of mankind and be true to the wild fish, that's the only way you are going to come to a solution that saves the wild fish.
And for me, would someone remind the representatives of the BPA, Corps and BOR and NOAA and all the elected officials that you see this as a management/employee meeting and they are the employees and this is a top down discussion. Take notes employees, there are things you are going to be doing, I don't care if you don't like them, you will do them just the same or find another career. Please someone instill that proper atmosphere in this meeting of stakeholders if it ever comes to pass. Also, if these employees of ours don't come to the table in the next few months, meet on our own and determine their fate. As I have always said, I do not understand how these action agencies have any real standing here, seems to me they have to follow the law (which they don't) and they have to do what we say (which they don't).
But beyond that, if you can only do one thing in this possible future meeting, be true to the wild fish and a solution that works for the wild fish you will find. If you just want to come to some decision so all of this can end, believe me, the wild fish will come to an end and they'll have you to thank for it.
Oh, since I really do wonder what you think, go ahead and comment below. Answer this question salmon advocates, will you be true to the wild fish? Yes, it is unfortunate that I must approve the comments first, but seriously if you had seen the guerrilla marketing comments and oddly phrased comments that repeated themselves over and over on blogs that were written months before the comments were made (akin to Rain Man answering a question from 30 minutes ago) you would have opted for the approve comments option as well. So, comment, don't worry, most things pass my filter.