So, why the somber headline? It is the fifth time we've dragged NOAA and the "inaction agencies" into court and it's the fifth time we've beaten them. And wild salmon and steelhead of the Snake River are no nearer recovery today than they were yesterday or 20 years ago or 25 years ago. The judge gave the inaction agencies another two years to produce what will be another illegal biop and wild salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin will be two years closer to extinction.
Do you want a legal biop? Breach four dams on the lower Snake River and voila, you've got a legal BiOp. But that 15 cents those dams earn over and above the billions we put into them will keep the inaction agencies from breaching. That and the incredible industry that is ratepayer and taxpayer dollars that now fund all walks of life in the Pacific Northwest on band-aid habitat projects that are continually viewed by every judge to be not enough.
Don't let this fifth victory in court be as hollow as the last four. Stop being the King of Ephyra, Sisyphus, stop rolling the boulder to the top only to watch it roll back down again and again and again and again and...
There is only one way for the wild salmon and steelhead of the Snake River Basin to recover and that is by breaching those four lower Snake River dams. I understand some of you are against breaching those dams, and you have a legitimate argument provided you acknowledge the fact that as long as those dams are in place the extinction of wild salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin, or should you choose the extirpation of them, is inevitable. We cannot have wild salmon and steelhead in perpetuity with those dams. If you know that and still argue to keep the dams, hey, we disagree, but at least you hold a legitimate position.
By the way, NOAA and the "inaction" agencies they don't hold that legitimate position. They believe we can have wild salmon and steelhead and the dams, and they are wrong. Completely and utterly so. They hold an illegitimate position, a position that has now been struck down five times in federal court, and now by a brand new judge.
So, unless you are like so many other Americans ready to believe a conspiracy exists anywhere your ideology has the unpleasant meeting with reality, perhaps you understand why I'm not really celebrating this victory. I knew it was coming from the day it was filed. I also knew that the judge would give the "inaction" agencies more time and I also know that they are going to do what they've done in the past and that is change a couple of commas and add more habitat projects where they buy off more and more constituents and publish yet another illegal BiOp that will again be challenged in court and it will again be declared illegal and we'll be that much closer to extinction, extirpation of wild salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin.