Sunday night's Outdoor Idaho program on Idaho salmon and steelhead, bravo! Thanks for actually allowing for time to discuss dam breaching rather than using it as a throw away line buried at the end or in the middle of some minutia. I appreciated that, a lot.
(I am still angry about losing what was "wink" a brilliant blog) Since I lost it, I guess I should just go to my point rather than what was at once comic genius and serious dissection of an important issue. Just a moment for reflection on the blog that never was...Damn, seriously, thumb pad inventors for laptops, what is wrong with you? What are you, against people buying a mouse for a laptop? Seriously, that has to be the leading invention that has demoralized more authors than say those internet (bully) commentators on Good Reads. (I am seriously not over it) Anyway, Outdoor Idaho, thanks for giving Bert Bowler some air time, thanks for allowing Judge Redden to say more than just get rid of the four lower Snake River dams because what he said about spill and especially about spill not being enough is what I want to focus on with this blog. (Seriously, though, had the other blog survived everyone would instantly love me and I'd have my own weekend live act in Vegas, but for those laptop thumb pad inventors). Isn't it enough that you tech heads and your visceral hate for newspapers eventually led to me being just a blogger after a very successful career? But NO, you have to go invent this damn thumb pad thing that takes commands I ain't sending even when my thumbs (due to natural selection and God) have to hover over it while typing correctly. I may never be over losing that blog post. I'll never be over Macho Grande...
Alright, enough of this, words are free and new ones always come to you, just never the same brilliant ones like I had just written that were wiped clean by some freakish static electricity that allowed my thumbs hovering at least an inch to two inches above that thumb pad to highlight all and erase and not just erase, but start something else so I couldn't undo the edit. OK, I will have to edit some of this.
The point I've been harping on for sometime about getting caught up in this fight to secure spill that we currently have through court order. Redden said something very important and I am sure many of my salmon advocate friends know this, but don't say it enough, spill isn't enough. Therefore, we can't just fight for spill, we have to fight for the goal of breaching four lower Snake River dams.
I know you all know this, but you have a faith in the resilience of wild salmon and wild steelhead that I do not share. Oh, sure I revere them as much if not more than the next guy, but I've had enough 180s in my life when my career was going well or other things to know that there aren't any sure things in this world (except the Yankees winning the series after my UK Wildcats win a national title in men's basketball...I know, it hurts me too being a Reds fan, but since 1949 look it up it has happened every year when the Wildcats win in the spring the Yankees win in the fall). But to be serious for a moment...
Wild salmon and wild steelhead of the Snake River Basin are very resilient, but I am not sure, nor will I bet on them being resilient enough to outlast the "progress of man." Just an aside, I am from Kentucky, so I have seen the world's largest shovel. I am buoyed by the fact that only Dennis Miller is getting all of my references.
But seriously, our wild salmon and wild steelhead do not have the time to fool around. Any number of things can happen before we get to a solutions table and any number of things can happen should we ever get to the point of breaching these four lower Snake River dams.
Things that seem like they might be tough enough to withstand our hubris and our folly can be gone in an instant. And while I do not want you to only be worried about wild salmon and wild steelhead recovery, I also want you to be inspired...(Is one set of ellipses enough build up or should I have typed ellipsis? I never know the answer, but seriously, how many bloggers do you know that got the plural of ellipses right on the first try? Seriously, none, right? Well, that's why they call me "Value Added." Actually, they don't, but how many Idaho writers would have gotten that right without looking it up? Yeah, me and Ernest "Papa" Hemingway and he didn't blog, so there).
Right now, I think that perhaps Bert Bowler and I might be the only people on the planet who actually think dam breaching is a very real possibility (OK, there are others out there as well), but most of you think I'm some crack pot with a keyboard with a fixation on dam removal that will never happen. First off, if these dams weren't the primary reason for the imminent extinction of wild salmon and wild steelhead, I would not call for their removal. I also wouldn't call for their construction, but if they weren't salmon killers, I would let them be. Anyway, for inspiration, a man with a funny voice said we would go to the moon in this decade (he was talking about the 1960s when computers fit into large rooms and most things were analog). I know breaching dams on the lower Snake River seems like a pipe dream (especially 43 years after we went to the moon and have an anti-climatic run at world supremacy since then), but seriously folks, we went to the moon several times and you think we can't breach some dams because they make electricity!?! Come on, it's only electricity, it ain't like we can't make that by rubbing a balloon against our head. Do you see how I inspire? And to think I give this stuff away for free.
By the way, dam advocates, no amount of increased spill gets these dams away from the description of "primary killer of wild salmon and wild steelhead of the Snake River Basin." Spill helps, but doesn't even get us to a 2 percent SAR or smolt/adult return rate, which we need eight straight years of to get these fish off the Endangered Species Act. The other ways they get off the list is by going extinct or by electing a Republican House and Senate along with a Republican President because they will destroy the Endangered Species Act (especially this new strain of Republican that wants to destroy everything that wasn't born with a pair of boot straps). No offense, Republicans, because you guys used to get my vote more times than not, but somewhere along the way you just got taken over by this hateful bunch of half-witted cheapskates who ironically bite the very hand that fed them. And I'd like to remind you that I didn't change, you did.
Idaho's junior Sen. Jim Risch (R) (I say junior to be accurate and to set up this next bit) looked good in the Outdoor Idaho broadcast tonight. I know he has said he would facilitate a solutions table (a bringing together of salmon advocates, and dam stake holders and you know whoever else that lives in the Pacific Northwest to get to sustainable and fishable runs of wild salmon and wild steelhead in the Snake River Basin). And I honestly do hope that he does this very soon. I remember meeting Sen. Risch in the lobby of the VFW Hall in Cascade when he was running for the Senate. We had a good laugh in the lobby when I asked when he planned on dying because one of his opponents told the crowd that day that they should vote for him rather than Risch because of Risch's age and the average years spent in the Senate by senators meant that Risch would likely die in office (you know that guy who ran for all kinds of offices in the state that had all those hunting and elk problems that later found that even Idaho County wasn't archaic enough for him so he plans to move to Wyoming? Yeah, that guy. editor's note: I love Riggins and the Taco John's in Grangeville, but anyone who has trouble being free enough in Idaho County seriously needs to think of qualifying for the manned mission to Mars).
Anyway, I sincerely hope Sen. Risch (who I know isn't one of these new strain of Republicans, I probably shouldn't have said that in the open, my apologies Sen. Risch it was a good run) facilitates a solutions table in the very near future and for my salmon advocates who are far too polite when they say that dam breaching must be on the table at this solutions table. No, my friends, dam breaching is the given, the starting point, or we don't have a solution and therefore we have incorrectly named the table and that would be a travesty.
OK, I can't remember most of the brilliant stuff I wrote earlier, so I hope you don't throw me to the dustbin of history with this replacement. I also hope you all realize that while saving our wild salmon and wild steelhead is a very serious matter to me and I write this with all sincerity, that I am also working the room, so it's OK if something made you laugh, at least half of what made you laugh, I meant to write. OK, at least 10 percent, but a laugh is a laugh even at my expense.