National Marine Fisheries Service scientists recently said that they don’t think they’ll be able to meet an April 2000 deadline for completing studies on whether the breaching of dams on the Snake River would be the best way to prevent extinction of endangered salmon runs. They want to conduct more studies, which could take four to seven years and postpone one of the Northwest’s most contentious debates. Advocates on both sides of the issue would rather have it resolved this spring, but a delay is likely in part because politicians want to avoid the controversial issue in an election year. A delay would be good news for Al Gore, who needs support both from enviros and from labor groups, which fear they could lose jobs in industries that rely on river access and hydropower should dams be breached.