Once More into the Breach
Federal officials are considering delaying a recommendation on whether or not to breach four dams on the lower Snake River to help save salmon. Some breaching advocates are saying the delay is a political move, designed to keep the highly controversial issue from interfering with Al Gore’s presidential campaign. The National Marine Fisheries Service had promised to make a recommendation by next spring, but now the feds say the agency may need additional time to collect more scientific information. A delay in a decision to breach could cause the extinction of Snake River salmon and steelhead trout, said Don Sampson, head of the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which represents four tribes with treaty rights to Columbia River salmon.