The Salmon Blog remains committed to ensuring the survival of wild Snake River salmon and steelhead by pushing for the removal of the four lower Snake River dams and by smart watershed and landscape decisions. The Salmon Blog continues to recognize that hatcheries are a double-edged sword that for the most part do more harm than good and do not aid wild salmon and steelhead recovery.
As the Salmon Blog begins its third year, we note that the power those four lower Snake River dams generate has already been replaced through conservation. The council has that in its latest report to the do nothings in Congress. Megaloads are on hold. River shipping to ports in the Lewiston area are on a steep decline. Though, I must stress the whole megaload thing, which has always gone our way in the courts could take an about turn should the Forest Service continue to choose to shirk its duty.
The Corps of Engineers has NOAA reworking its incredibly expensive sediment management plan proposal for the lower Snake River. And apparently Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador must be convinced he practices the most orthodox of conservatism up in these parts because he signed onto a letter supporting the Bonneville Power Administration, a public money wasting bureaucracy that wastes billions of dollars making sure it appears as if we are trying to save the salmon, but nothing on projects that would actually save the salmon. For a tea party favorite like Labrador to support the big spending, big government BPA must mean he feels safe enough to attach his name to something that might help with campaign contributions from those who desire those dams stay in place no matter what the true cost to the taxpayers, ratepayers and of course that says nothing to the cost to wild salmonids.. He feels safe enough to throw off the yoke of orthodox conservatism bordering on anarchy and now it seems he will choose which issues he wants to be a big spending, government control loving Washington insider and which issues he wants his constituents to see him as the possible reincarnation of a founding father who doesn't have a time machine to get him back to the good ole days. You can brand me a liberal or a conservative, but you'd be wrong, as always I am an American and I call them like I see them.
I know, I know, some of you had hoped that the ideology virus ripping the elephants apart would work in the salmon's favor when they saw all the money wasted on lipstick and rouge by the BPA, Corps, BOR and NOAA. Well, seems apparent he's lined up on the wrong side of the salmon issue as well, and that's because deep down in his core he is a politician who likes campaign contributions more than principled stances. Ideology is great, so long as it aligns with what the reelection war chest requires. I told you all that the salmon needed to become capitalists and bring back cash. The Supreme Court would probably call them people if they had money. We live in a time where the idiom "money talks," is actually the reality more than it ever had been before and that's saying a whole lot.
Many positive things have happened since this blog began, not that this blog had anything to do with it beyond sending in comments that happened to align with changes that were made, which means many others sent in similar comments, too. Anyway, we can celebrate that the US government did make a substantial change to the Columbia River Treaty and it will be interesting to see that the change survives in the pact and even more interesting that the change will be more than words on a treaty. The change was making the environmental health of the Columbia River watershed as important as hydropower production and flood management. That was a change for the better.
Fall chinook, though hatchery fish, made a spectacular showing this year, all the more reason to get to work on plans to remove the four lower Snake River dams. The true cost of those dams against the revenues from hydropower, shipping and recreation would make a true ideologue so sick he'd sponsor a bill to breach them tomorrow. But no such analysis is being done by the inaction agencies.
Anyway, if this missive seems short, well, it's not like two years on the internet is some great accomplishment, but watch out when this thing turns 50, because I'll be 90 something and likely to ramble on and on about the good ole days.