Groups sue over federal plan for Northwest salmon
A handful of green groups filed suit Tuesday over the Bush administration’s latest plan to protect salmon in the Northwest’s Columbia Basin. The feds’ proposal “calls for cutting several key salmon protection measures and comes with a price tag of more than half a billion dollars per year,” the groups said in a statement. “While it includes some provisions for habitat, hatchery production, and predator control, it calls for no significant changes to the region’s federal hydrosystem and ignores the four dams on the lower Snake River that do the most harm to the … endangered salmon.” The Clinton administration ruled in 2000 that the dams stay put for at least a decade; advocates warn that breaching them would mean losing an important source of clean power. But the litigious lot — including Save Our Wild Salmon, Earthjustice, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and Institute for Fisheries Resources — say that salmon, and the livelihoods of fisherfolk, should be prioritized.