But I'm a journalist, deep down to the bone, and I read things for what they are and not what they could be. He didn't say anything about breaching four lower Snake River dams and that is the only way we are saving the wild salmon and wild steelhead of the Snake River Basin.
Oh, wait, I am sorry, I forgot to give you a link or two showing you what the governor said. OK, read about what the Oregon governor said here and then go here http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/09/we_can_end_the_columbia_basin.html I shared the actual link there instead of hiding it, because you should read it. Yes, Oregonian, we can end the Columbia Basin. We've been trying for many years now.
And again he did go a long way toward getting the ball rolling, which sadly has to be a step in the process. So, again, kudos, I like this guy for what he has done to date. Again, though, he did not mention breaching dams, instead he spoke of returning rivers to their natural state. "We can do better if, over the next year, our region can work out how to manage our Columbia as a river rather than simply preparing for yet another visit to the courtroom."
Again, don't get me wrong, I love the timetable (didn't care for the buttering up of the BPA), over the next year, but here's the problem, we've got the Bonneville Power Adminstration, Corps of Engineers, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and a whole lot of other people who claim to be the embodiment of the silent majority who don't mind putting some flow back in the Columbia/Snake provided that flow is at a higher elevation and a whole lot slower than the river at its natural state. And then you've got these people who are or were on the side of salmon advocates who will espouse the virtues of spill, and they won't share that spill doesn't get us to a viable smolt to adult return rate (SAR between 2-6 percent for eight consecutive years). So a possible "solution", which won't be a solution at all, could be damming a whole lot more rivers in Idaho, where Butch runs the roost, with the great "promise" of cool and plentiful water to spill for salmon coming from Idaho to save Idaho's wild fish (as it simultaneously kills off millions of other Idaho native fish in new slackwater reservoirs where Idaho Power can finally tell wind power producers to stick it where the sun don't shine).
If you don't think that the BPA, Corps and Butch and others aren't going to try to angle these talks (if they ever happen) in that very direction, you seriously need to stop smoking the Humboldt County cash crop.
So there is the danger, as I want you all going in with eyes wide open. There is a "solution" that won't save the salmon. Now the Oregon governor also said that all sides would have to give up something. Well, salmon advocates, what do you have that is worth something? Listen, if they, and this is a huge if, if they decide to take the Oregon governor's bait and come to the table we won't call "solutions," they are going to come for one reason and one reason alone. Beyond getting you to agree to their higher elevation Columbia/Snake and America's second great era of dam building, they will come for one real reason, to strip you (salmon advocates all) of your right to sue them in court when their promises fail to save wild salmon and wild steelhead.
You have so many pairs of pants you have won off these guys in court it ain't even funny. If they decide to come to the table (and remember, why would they since they can apparently ignore the orders of federal judges), they will come to strip you of your right to sue them in court over yet another failed effort to save the salmon.
That will be the only compelling reason they come to this table we won't call "solution." And I doubt they will come to the table until some other federal judge properly places those presiding over the extinction of Columbia/Snake wild salmon and steelhead under his iron thumb.
What have we learned this year? BPA, Corps, NOAA, et. al. don't have to follow the orders of a federal judge who later retires. Congressmen from eastern Washington and somewhere in California arrived here from a time machine from the 1950s (or earlier) and the forces for salmon extinction think they can save them by raising the level of all of our water by damming up more and more rivers and then managing the flow for optimal salmon survival.
When, and I am being serious, when has any government agency or any agency managed any river better than nature or god depending on your persuasion? Let me ask you another question, you do realize that the word manage is in itself an admission of continued failure, right?
To sum up, it is great that the Oregon governor is calling for a "solutions table" without actually using the lingo of those damn tree huggers, but if the other side bites, this is about to get serious and you need to be aware of that and you need to realize that your right to sue is the only thing keeping these people from driving the final extinction nail into the coffin of wild salmon and wild steelhead of the Snake River Basin. So, when you give that right up, it had better be for something that includes the breaching of four lower Snake River dams and a promise for those dams to never again be rebuilt and a promise that the lower Snake shall from this day forward always remain wild and free. If you don't at the very least get that, then you'd be a fool to sign away your right to sue these guys over and over again until they get it.
The only time they are going to beat you in court, is when their plan to save the wild salmon and wild steelhead includes the breaching of those lower Snake River dams. I hope you never forget that very important fact. They can't beat you any other way beyond running out the clock on wild salmon and wild steelhead (their current strategy) making your lawsuit moot.
Yes, be happy, somebody who won a popularity contest also wants a solutions table, though he won't call it that, but be very wary of where this might go if you get too exuberant about the fact that those you keep beating in the courtroom finally decide they will talk. You are in the driver seat as long as you realize it.